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True story of Far East POW told in show by his great-nephew

PUBLISHED: 12:10 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 09 September 2019

In Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

In Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

Diss Corn Hall

The incredible true story of missing Second World War soldier and prisoner of war Arthur Robinson is told in a show by his great-nephew coming to Diss.

In Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn HallIn Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

In Loyal Company is the extraordinary true story of survival told as a one-man tour-de-force war epic by actor and writer David William Bryan.

Having sold out at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe, the play is touring popular demand and playing in larger venues throughout 2019 including Diss Corn Hall.

In Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn HallIn Loyal Company performed by David William Bryan. Picture: Diss Corn Hall

In May 1941, as Hitler's bombs rain down on Liverpool, local packer Arthur Robinson — known as Joe — joins up aged 25 becoming a private in the 18th reconnaissance division and deployed to Singapore where his ship is destroyed by Japanese dive bombers on arrival and Arthur is declared missing.

Arthur Robinson was the uncle of David's father Paul, who is a producer behind the show as well as acting as an expert consultant for this historical piece. Keeping the story in the family David plays his great-uncle.

He said: "The story is laid out in patches - we know his movements, we know where he was. But we don't know why he did certain things, for example what the key moment was when he decided to join up.

"We have an album of pictures - random snapshots where you're trying to figure out the context. I create imaginary circumstances, extrapolating from real things."

The show has won rave rebviews with the action remarkably illustrated through the stage design and David's performance that follows Joe's journey as he makes his way through the Battle of Singapore to incarceration at the hands of the Japanese.

- In Loyal Company is at Diss Corn Hall on September 13, 7.30pm, £12 (£10 cons), 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk

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