Winston on the Run – Five Star Drama

Winston on the Run – Five Star Drama

A one-man play about Winston Churchill’s little known early life can be seen at The Atkinson on Wednesday 9 October. Book now

Created by London-based Company, Fol Espoir, Winston on the Run tells the story of Churchill’s war-time experiences in South Africa, and his astonishing escape across hundreds of miles of savannah to rejoin British lines.

It’s 1899 and the 24-year old Winston is approaching the twentieth-century with little to his name but an unsuccessful election campaign.  Neglected by his parents and a failure at school, Winston takes a job as a war correspondent and finds himself posted in South Africa, embroiled in the Boer War.

Less than a month later, he is an escaped prisoner-of-war, on the run in the vast South African savannah, taking cover at the bottom of a deep mineshaft. With nothing but rats for company, the young Winston’s mind quickly sinks into paranoia and despair. As the moment for a fresh break approaches his sanity teeters on the brink. What will await him at the surface? Freedom or capture? Fame or disgrace? Triumph or disaster?

The show is co-created by writer and actor Freddie Machin and Fol Espoir’s Artistic Director, John Walton. The UK tour follows a successful run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 and an award-winning performance at Buxton Fringe Festival in the same year, where it earned Machin the ‘Best Actor’ prize.

Despite being voted ‘greatest Briton of all time’ in a BBC poll, surprisingly little is known about Churchill’s formative early experiences. His daring escape was a defining point of his early life, catapulting him to international fame and jump-starting his political career. Winston on the Run shows a young Churchill confronted by both a dangerous enemy and his own ‘black-dog’ of depression. In learning to never surrender, he began his ascent towards political greatness.

The show will be followed by a presentation exploring the archive material that inspired the play. The talk will explain how historical fact was transformed into theatrical drama, explore the challenges faced by the creative team, and conclude with a question and answer session.

★★★★★ Three Weeks – “A gem of new writing”

★★★★ Exuent Magazine – “Consistently entertaining and often hilarious”

★★★★ Hairline – “Freddie Machin gives a superb performance as Churchill”

Tickets to see Winston on the Run on Wednesday 9 October  are £10/ £8 concessions / £6 schools and are available online at , by calling The Atkinson box office on 01704 533333 and over the counter. The event is suitable for children aged 12+

Take advantage of the Buy 3 save £10 offer on drama this season at The Atkinson – find out more information about the offer by visiting

*Please be advised there is a £2 booking fee for booking over the phone and online bookings.

Posted on 16 September 2013 under General news

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