All Is Calm – The Story of the Christmas Truce
World War One
In All Is Calm, John Hurt tells the story of the most famous ceasefire in history, through diaries, letters and archive accounts from the soldiers themselves.
It is perhaps the perfect Christmas fable – of goodness vanquishing evil, if just for one day. And surely that’s why the story is still told and wondered at a century later and remains so relevant as conflicts rage around the world. It has inspired music, poetry, films and even the occasional comic sketch.So, as well as recalling the events of Christmas Day 1914, in the programme we’ll also hear how a revival of interest in the story was inspired by the stage musical Oh ! What a Lovely War The Poet Laureate Carol Anne Duffy reads her poem about the events of Christmas Day 1914 and author Michael Morpurgo explains why they inspired him to write a story about the Christmas Truce for children. In 1990, The Farm composed All Together Now, an anthem inspired by the events of 1914, and songwriter peter Hooton explains why he has re-recorded the song with English and German schoolboys to mark the centenary. And of course, that famous football match in No Man’s Land was the setting for the video that accompanied Pipes of Peace, Paul McCartney’s Christmas number one of 1983. It even inspired a memorable scene in an episode of Blackadder.