A Day to Remember

Credit: Matej, Poetry on the Road

A day to remember

an extended performance poem due to tour the uk in 2018 


Toby's deeply moving extended performance poem was performed to a sell-out audience at The Mission Theatre, Bath on Remembrance Day 2017 ahead of a planned UK tour during 2018.


In 2015 Toby was commissioned by director Jesse Jones (National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic) who was in residence at Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton, to write and perform this commemorative work in the centenary year of the Battle of Aubers Ridge.

Aubers Ridge was one of the most disastrous British military engagements of the First World War. The men of Northampton suffered terrible and disproportionate losses: the Northamptonshire Regiment was heavily involved and badly hit. No single regiment suffered more losses on the those two days in May 1915 when the British counted 11,000 casualties overall for no material strategic gain. The story of Aubers Ridge epitomises the essence of ‘lest we forget’.

Working first with local historian Geoff Granger, Toby immersed himself in the true life stories of the people of Northampton, and the resulting work takes us deeper and deeper into the world of the men , women and families who were affected. Over five passages in the poem, through their journey from the sunny and optimistic spring of 1914 to its fateful outcome, we come to know them, love them and respect them, before we have no choice but to mourn those who perished, and pity those who were left behind.

Director Jesse Jones created a production that is both moving and gripping in equal measure, incorporating specially created soundscape and visuals by Toby’s long-time collaborator Buster Grey-Jung.


The piece was staged for the first time at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in May 2015 in the centenary month of the battle itself. It was performed again at the Union Chapel in Islington on Remembrance Sunday in 2016, this time set partially to an accompaniment by celebrated community choir Letchworth City Chorus featuring Elgar’s requiem Lux Aeterna (‘Nimrod’). This innovative and highly successful staging inspired plans that are now underway to fund a UK tour of the production during 2018, the centenary year of the end of the First World War, and working where possible with local choirs.

At this stage expressions of interest from potential venues and choirs are especially welcome.

About the director...

Jesse Jones

Jesse’s directing credits include Rory Malarkey's THE GRANDFATHERS, winning National Theatre Connections 2012 and revived professionally at the NT Shed in 2013. Jesse has worked as Staff Director at the National Theatre, assisting on EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES 2013/14. His adaptation of Sally Gardener's novel MAGGOT MOON is in development at the National Theatre Studio.

He is an associate artist of Bristol Old Vic Outreach and founded the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol in 2011, where he directed WILDBORE, GUTTERMOUTH and SCUMBAG. Over the last 4 years the theatre has housed hundreds of new works by some of the country’s most exciting emerging artists. Currently they are working on a new show EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION co-produced by Royal & Derngate and Shoreditch Town Hall that will be performed later in 2017.

He is currently a member of the Old Vic 12 where he will develop two new shows over the next 12 months and he recently finished as Resident Director at Royal and Derngate, Northampton having won the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme award, and where he originally commissioned and directed A DAY TO REMEMBER.