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Charlie Ward

Created by

11 Sep - 11 Nov 2018

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Fuel.

Sound&Fury’s intimate, immersive, and immensely powerful sound installation placed audiences in the heart of a makeshift wartime hospital.

Some say that British soldiers in the trenches held up cardboard cut-outs of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp in the hope that the enemy would die laughing. But as the carnage of war set in, Chaplin’s image was put to a different use. To boost morale, medical staff at improvised hospitals near the front line arranged for Chaplin films to be shown for the bedridden, with the ward’s ceiling serving as the silver screen.

For one soldier on Charlie Ward, the flickering images, whirring projector and Chaplin’s perfect comic timing trigger complex emotions and memories. Cast from the trenches to childhood, from trauma to dreams, the hospital film show sets him on a journey into a personal no man’s land.

Using their distinctive style – total darkness, minimal lighting, and immersive sound design – Sound&Fury’s extraordinary work sound installation, lasted around 15 minutes and was presented to audiences of just 10 people at each performance, premiered to great critical acclaim during 14-18 NOW’s opening season in 2014 before returning for a tour in autumn of 2018.

Charlie Ward premiered in summer 2014, as part of 14-18 NOW, at the Cinema Museum in London.


"a hauntingly beautiful installation."

The Telegraph

" ★★★★ - affecting and constantly surprising."

The Guardian

"★★★★ - The genius of this time machine of a creation by the immersive specialists Sound & Fury is that it focuses not on the Great War itself, but on the ways in which soldiers tried to distance themselves from it."

The Times

ABB73C5B-A51C-4932-BDF3-C60C9D79146A Created with sketchtool.

Project History