C Ward, 1914. In a makeshift hospital, behind the front line, the war’s first casualties are treated. To boost morale, medical staff arrange for a Chaplin film to be shown for the bedridden, with the ward’s ceiling serving as the silver screen.
For one soldier, Harry, the flickering images, whirring projector, and Chaplin’s perfect comic timing trigger complex emotions and memories. Transported from the trenches to childhood, from trauma to dreams, the experience sets him on a journey into a personal no man’s land.
During the COVID-19 crisis, theatre companies were trying to find new and safe ways to present their work.
First staged in a makeshift hospital tent with beds for an audience of ten people with immersive surround sound, Sound&Fury’s Charlie Ward was reimagined for 2020 so it could be presented as a theatrical installation in your own home.
Charlie Ward at Home was an intimate, immersive, and powerful piece that placed you as a patient at the heart of a wartime hospital, where this unusual therapy brought solace and comfort to those injured on the battlefield.
Using Sound&Fury’s distinctive style, immersive sound design, and footage from Charlie Chaplin’s By the Sea, the extraordinary experience of being on Charlie Ward was conjured for our audience.
Charlie Ward was originally co-commissioned by Fuel and 14-18 NOW – WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was first presented at the Cinema Museum, London in July 2014 as part of the 14-18 NOW cultural programme of extraordinary art experiences that took place across the UK to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Once audiences had booked their tickets, they received an email with a link to the piece and a reminder of our recommendations for experiencing the installation at home:
Charlie Ward at Home lasted just under 20 minutes.
Age recommendation: 12+
The installation was available with or without Open Captions.
Donate What You Can
""A hauntingly beautiful installation""
""★★★★ - Affecting and constantly surprising""
""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""