Press Release March 2020
November 2020 marks two anniversaries significant to the rebuilding of Europe after war.
On November 20th it is 75 years since the opening of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, whilst on the 4th, it is 70 years since the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights.
David Maxwell Fyfe played a leading role in both.
In Dreams of Peace & Freedom, English Cabaret tells the story of David Maxwell Fyfe's journey from Nuremberg, where in 1945 he prosecuted leading Nazis at the War Crimes Trials, to Strasbourg, where up to its signing in 1950 he championed the European Convention on Human Rights.
‘The more serious business of History... dances to the rhythms of anniversaries’
Martin Conway, Oxford Historian
It's the story of how the first stuttering steps towards
reconciliation in post war Europe were taken
with the reawakening of natural justice at Nuremberg.
A story of how the renaissance of the law of nature
among the ruins of war torn Europe
led to the birth of contemporary human rights and freedoms.
And it's a story that remembers why people fought the Nazis,
to preserve their freedom under just law,
and why that fight must never be abandoned.
Composer Sue Casson writes: ‘In Dreams of Peace & Freedom, inspirational quotations from the speeches, letters and autobiography of David Maxwell Fyfe, naturally thread through musical settings of poetry he found inspiring. The melody infuses his chosen poetic words with another unspoken dimension – emotion to reinforce the story, rather as in his speeches, the poetry heightens the tenor of his legal argument. ‘
Singer Lily Casson, a great grand-daughter of David Maxwell Fyfe, explains, 'With Dreams of Peace & Freedom : The Human's in the Telling, we are targeting 16 -24 year olds as the story we are telling explores how Europe came together after the bloodshed, which very few people of my generation know about.'
Robert Blackmore, who speaks his great grandfather's words in the show adds, 'With our story, we are reaching out in a number of ways to bring the history alive, creating online multi-media to make it accessible to as many people as possible.'
Dreams of Peace & Freedom has been described by Thos Ribbits at MusicalTalk as:
'One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard…sublime.'
And by Helena Kennedy as:
‘An amazing and really important piece of work…the most incredibly stimulating
piece of history….stunning’.
Dreams of Peace & Freedom will be performed as part of the English Cabaret September season,
and in Commemorative Performances between August and December.
So that we can tell the story more widely in 2020 we have, in the past year, made a recording of Dreams of Peace & Freedom, and a podcast which provides further depth and background. We have created a filmed recording which explores the landscapes of the story.
And we have produced a book that throws light on the raw resources of the history and tells you more about the historians.
We will launch our materials in April. At the same time we tell our story online, reinforced by a vigorous social media campaign.
Twitter @OfficialTHINT Instagram @officialthint #thehumansinthetelling
English Cabaret are a professional theatre group, but also members of Maxwell Fyfe’s family –
we all feel that the human is in the telling of our story.