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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Radio play “Memorials to the Missing” at University Theatre through Feb. 27

"Memorials to the Missing," an award-winning radio play by British playwright Stephen Wyatt and directed by Old Dominion University's Konrad Winters, opened Feb. 17 and will continue through Feb. 20 as well as Feb. 24 to 27 at the University Theatre, on Hampton Blvd. at 46th St.

Performances are at 7:30 each night.

Wyatt uses finely nuanced characters to bring to life the deliberations and the decisions of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which honors 1.7 million service members killed in World Wars I and II. The play centers on a fictional address given by Fabian Ware at the opening of the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme, which commemorates more than 72,000 British and South African casualties of World War I with no known graves. It documents Ware's struggle against fierce opposition to have war casualties buried where they fell under uniform headstones with no distinction of faith or rank.

Ware's speech is interwoven with the voices of dead soldiers pleading for closure and remembrance, recordings of visitors to War Graves Commission sites and battlefield memories from his time commanding a Red Cross ambulance unit.

British Broadcasting Corporation reviews said:

  • "Stephen Wyatt's 'Memorials' truly was radio drama at its best; dynamic, informative and beautifully moving. I, like many others, wept while listening."
  • "A superb, touching, well written and historically accurate play."
  • "A wonderful experience. It is rare that any play is that powerful and involving."

The 2007 play won the Tinniswood Award, an annual British honor for original radio dramas.

The production is in collaboration with the ODU Department of History's initiative "Remembering World War I: A Hundredth Anniversary Commemoration."

General-admission tickets are $15. They can be purchased at ODUArtsTix.com or by calling the box office at 757-683-5305.