The Comedy Company by Neil Grahn
‘The Comedy Company’ tells the true story of how a few soldiers from The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry created a beloved comedy show on the Western Front of World War One. They were pulled from the trenches and ordered to write and perform a lighthearted entertainment for their fellow soldiers. They succeeded far beyond anyone’s hopes. These men made their fellow soldiers laugh while in the shadow of the most hellish battlefields ever known. The PPCLI Comedy Company was the first standing comedy troupe in the Canadian Expeditionary force of World War One and went on to be an integral part of the first successful Canadian run on Broadway. They regularly practiced their routines within artillery range of the enemy, knowing they could be called to the front at any moment. These men were the last of the soldier entertainers and they set the mold for many Canadian sketch comics that followed in their footsteps. This hilarious and harrowing story details the struggles, the successes and the casualties of their first year.
Keywords: Comedy, music, World War One, Army
Running time: 90 minutes
Male roles: 7
Maximum number of roles: 12
First professional production: Shadow Theatre, Edmonton
Suitable for students age 16+.