Her War

A Traumatised Nurse Struggles

27 Jul to 26 Aug

Full Price: £15 | Affordable: £5 | Online: £1 plus optional donation
Produced and presented by SoundRanger Studio

Music: Edwin Roxburgh
Words: Jonathan Ruffle

On Stage - Live Performance: 7:30pm - 8:15pm, 27 July, £15/£5

Live Online - Interactive Broadcast: 9:00pm - 10:15pm, 29 July, £1

On Demand - Interactive Broadcast Recording: 29 July - 26 August, £1

A challenging new opera for soprano and trumpet about a traumatised nurse who returns from WWI only to clash with an uncaring government, forcing her to be a pioneer for nurses’ rights. Based on the research of three leading academics in WWI nursing trauma, ‘Her War’ offers long-overdue recognition of the historical nurses’ contribution and highlights the striking parallels between their experience and that of contemporary nurses processing their own experiences of trauma in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interactive broadcast includes a Q&A with the creative team and some of the academics whose work inspired and informed the opera.

Dr. Christine Hallett on WWI nurses and COVID:
First World War nurses experienced many different forms of trauma, ranging from the obvious dangers and pressures of working in a war zone — sometimes very close to the battlefield — to the more hidden and pervasive traumas that accompanied ‘rushes’ of casualties in under-staffed hospitals. Nurses’ personal writings often refer to the stress of watching patients die who could have been saved if only more time or more personnel had been available. Many nurses carried these memories with them for the rest of their lives, and some suffered severe emotional trauma or mental illness as a result. The parallels with today’s Covid-19 ‘front line’ nurses are obvious. The relentless pressure of struggling to preserve lives that might be saved but are lost in spite of one’s best efforts, due to workload pressures, lack of equipment or just for unknown reasons leaves a heavy physical and mental toll.

Age range: Parental guidance, 13 upwards
Content advisories: PTSD, explicit references to injury, loud noises

We ask our audiences to stay home if there is any risk of infection, and to stick to one metre social distancing at all times. 


We continue to:

  • Reduce the number of people using spaces in the building
  • Maintain COVID safe cleaning regimes   
  • Make available bottles of hand sanitiser and wipes throughout the building
  • Open all the doors and windows to aid air-flow and fill the place with potted plants that cheer us all up (and calm us all down).

For this show we are keeping managed social distancing in place. 

We also request that everyone wear a mask when moving around the building, wash their hands often and practice self-distancing. Our companies and audiences will include Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people. We want everyone to feel and be safe.

  • You will be asked to queue outside in your bubbles, so wear weather-relevant clothes and let us know if you or anyone you know has a mobility or standing difficulty by emailing the Box Office.   
  • We will check you in on arrival. You may be asked for ID so please have some handy. 
  • We will show you straight into the auditorium - unless you need to use the facilities - where you will be seated in your bubbles
  • There will be one way systems in place.  Our gorgeous stewards will guide you and show you how to leave should you need to.
  •  In the auditorium, another gorgeous steward will check our seating plan and show you to your seat(s). Like in a restaurant. 


We will be running a normal bar service with extra tables for your drinking comfort.


For more information on how things work, have a look at our dedicated Covid:19 page. 



All  performances will also have Interactive Broadcasts.   
When you book for an interactive broadcast, you will receive an order confirmation. The link to the broadcast will then be in your Order Reminder email sent on the day of the broadcast.

For those who prefer to access the broadcast by telephone, please call The Cockpit Box Office on 020 7258 2925.

If you can’t make the broadcast time, or wish to watch at a time after the broadcast date, the recording will remain online and you can watch it whenever you like.  All ticket holders can watch again as many times as they like for 28 days after the broadcast, and you are welcome to buy tickets after the live event.