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Book, Music and Lyrics By Benjamin Till | Additional Lyrics by Sir Arnold Wesker and Nathan Taylor


Commissioned by the National Youth Music Theatre to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, BRASS follows a group of Leeds residents from the start of the war until the battle of the Somme in 1916.

The men, members of an amateur brass band, join up to the Leeds Pals regiment and their womenfolk decide to learn the instruments that the men have left behind to keep the spirit of the brass band alive and to play for them when they triumphantly return to the city after the war.

We watch the women trying to learn the brass instruments whilst the men simply try to stay alive.

It is an epic musical about love and survival.

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture and Prologue
  2. Barnbow Lassies
  3. On The Shelf
  4. Keighley
  5. Billy Whistle
  6. Forming A Band
  7. Shone With The Sun
  8. Brass
  9. When You’re A Pal
  10. I Miss The Music
  11. You’ll Always Have A Friend
  12. I Make The Shells
  13. Could’ve Been
  14. Scared
  15. Letters
  16. No Man’s Land


Principals: 9 Men, 7 Women



Scenes and settings

BRASS is set in the midst of World War I 1914-1916 in a front line trench and French village, and various locations around Leeds in West Yorkshire.


    National Youth Music Theatre - Brass