To End All Wars

An interactive performance workshop on First World War poetry for English Literature GCSE students

"Thank you so much for a fantastic workshop. The students really enjoyed your performances and have gained a real insight into the poetry - every lesson one of them says something new which I know was inspired by the work you did with them." Mrs N Nicholls, Head of English, The Grange School, Christchurch.

To End All Wars takes well known and well loved poems from the 1914 - 18 war and brings them to life with impassioned performances. The poems are elivered simply and directly, allowing the power of the writing to shine through. The empathy that these performances engender then becomes the starting point for a deeper understanding of each piece.

This understanding is then persued through discussing not only the poems themselves but also the historical and social circumstances that they were writen in.

During the workshop, critical and analytical techniques are applied to the poems that can easily be aplied to any other works that are being studied.

Works by Anna Gordon Keown, John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, Margaret Postgate Cole, Siegfried Sassoon and Katherine Tynan are all included.

Teachers who book To End All Wars also have the oportunity of adding their own choice of one poem that they believe will enhance their students' learning during the workshop. 

Learning Points

  • The poems are introduced as the blogs of their day: short bursts of fact and feeling that very effectively draw the reader into the experiences and thoughts of the poet.
  • The following questions are asked of each poem after they have ben performed: What is being discribed in the poem? What does the poet think about what is happening? What linguistic 'tricks' does the poet use to make us feel the same way? (Here qualities such as imagary, narative voice, rhythm and meter are discussed.)
  • The poems are broken down into key words and phrases, all chosen by the students as they are performed.
  • Pieces are compared and contrasted with each other. They are also contrasted with poems inspired by previous conflicts (The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Illiad), showing how perceptions of war changed as did the wars themselves.


Numbers: Up to 100 students.

Age Range: Ideal for Year 8 upwards.

Set-Up Time: Actor will arrive 30 minutes before the start of the performance.

Running Time: 1 hour.

Location: School hall, auditorium or large class room. Students to be seated with pen and paper or notes.


Please contact Tor Theatre for details of prices.

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