Soldiers of Song is a live performance involving theatre, music, and storytelling based on the original works of the Dumbells, a Canadian concert party that entertained the troops on the front line in World War I.
If nationhood was won on the crest of Vimy Ridge, it was the Dumbells who provided the country with its earliest soundtrack. The soldier-entertainers’ journey from Vimy to vaudeville is now celebrated in the musical play Soldiers of Song, written and directed by award-winning author and two-time Juno Award-nominee Jason Wilson. He is assisted by Canadian storyteller Lorne Brown, Toronto stage actors Jim Armstrong and Andrew Knowlton, and Marcus Ali and Patrice Barbanchon from the Jason Wilson Band. The talented cast of musicians and actors bring the old comedy sketches and humorous war songs to life. Throughout the show, storyteller Lorne Brown shares stories about his personal connection to the Dumbells.
This highly entertaining show celebrates the songs and stories of Canada’s famous First World War concert party: The Dumbells. It is also the focus of Wilson’s book Soldiers of Song: The Dumbells and Other Canadian Concert Parties of the First World War (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012). Both book and show enlightens audiences on the story of the Dumbells and reimagines the musical fare of the famous comedy troupe founded on the Western Front.
Video from CBC The National
Remembering the Dumbells
For more information about the Soldiers of Song show, watch this video preview about the Soldiers of Song, which aired on CBC's The National in June 2013.