alphabetical author index


Brass follows a group of Leeds residents from the outbreak of the First World War until the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama
  • 120 minutes

  • Time Period: 1910s / WWI
  • Target Audience: Appropriate for all audiences
  • Cautions: Gun Shots

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, College Theatre / Student, Church / Religious Groups

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Production (2014)
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.

Author's Notes


"A magnificent miracle of a musical. Run, don't walk to the Hackney Empire to see it... Needs to transfer to the National Theatre... An evening of gripping power... Benjamin Till has the most authentic British musical voice since Howard Goodall."

 Mark Shenton, The Stage

"One of the theatrical highlights of the year... Benjamin Till's writing is monumental... Till deserves to be seated at musical theatre's top table for his efforts. Brass is a truly epic musical event -- I can't think of a better British score from recent year."

 Craig Glenday,

"Quite honestly, it's a breath-taking achievement. Mark Shenton has said that it belongs in the National Theatre, and he's not wrong... In addition to being a great lyricist and dramatist, Till is a complete composer. Music is exquisitely, beautifully crafted to tell an exciting theatrical story. Till's vocabulary is virtuosic and his command of orchestral and vocal colour symphonic in ambition and masterfulness."

 Julian Eaves,

"Benjamin Till's rich, melodious score, its influence ranging from Marie Lloyd to Vaughan Williams, powerfully conveys the fervour, horror and heartbreak both in the trenches and at home."

 Michael Arditti, The Express

"The raison d'être for this version of the story is the powerful and beautiful music that threads throughout as a conduit for truth and depth of emotions. Till has written a score that pulses with musicality and shines from the opening bravura phrases."

 Jennifer Christie,


Premiere Production: Brass was commissioned by the National Youth Music Theatre to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.
  • Casting: 9M, 7F
  • Casting Attributes: Ensemble cast, Parts for Senior Actors, Roles for Teens, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Chorus Size: Medium/Large

    Private Alfred (Alf) Mabberley: 25. Alf conducts the successful Hyde Park Brass Band. He lives for music. Handsome, mercurial, brave, a showman, he’s a natural leader of men, but he has a dark secret.
    Private Tom Button: 21. A third year language student at Leeds University, Tom plays euphonium in Alf’s band. Tom is an intellectual, a philosopher and a musical perfectionist.
    Private Wilfred Gambles: 25. Wilfred joined Alf’s band as a percussionist six weeks before the war started. He comes from Coventry, but is an orphan and has spent years roaming the country.
    Private Harry Sparrow: 25. A trainee solicitor. Harry is dapper and fashionable. He knows about the new dance crazes. He likes ragtime and Puccini.
    Private Maurice (Morrie) Grimes: 15. Morrie was 14 when he enlisted but lied about his age.
    Private George Tilley: 30. A slightly jaded miner with blue scars on his face, George is stoic, wise and unflappable.
    Lance Corporal Gideon Tibbets: 38. A Salvationist, married to Peggy. Thin-faced, buttoned-up and somewhat aggressive.
    Lieutenant Clyde Bickerdyke: 28. The second son of wealthy Yorkshire land owners. His sister, Rosaline, volunteers at Barnbow.
    Major Justice Wrigley: 55. A fat, deeply arrogant Major, who has been transferred to the Pals Regiment against his will. He comes from Berkshire, fought in the Boer war, and has never been to Leeds.
    Other soldiers, recruiting sergeants and doctors to be played by the company.
    Eliza Mabberley: 26. A graduate from the University of Leeds. Eliza is Alfie’s beloved older sister. She is a feminist and fiercely independent.
    Emmie Sparrow: 23. A deeply alluring woman, Emmie says she believes in women’s rights, but secretly has just one ambition; to live in a cottage with her husband Harry, and a cricket team of children!
    Peggy Tibbets: 34. Peggy is the wife of Salvationist, Gideon Tibbets.
    Tats Grimes: 18. Earthy. Edgy. Irreverent. Loose. Feisty. A good-time girl. A joker.
    Titty Anderson: 17. Tats’ innocent best friend, Titty has a heart of gold which belongs entirely and unrequitedly to Alf.
    Rosaline Bickerdyke: 28. Still, ladylike, a touch haughty. Sister of Clyde.
    Miss Myrtle Grimsby: 40. A brusque factory over-seer with a stentorian voice.
    Other munitions workers will be played by the female ensemble.
  • Name Price
    Perusal Material Shipped immediately. This is optional. Order Now

    1 x Script / Piano-Vocal Score

    Digital Perusal Material Shipped immediately. This is optional. Order Now

    1 x Script / Piano-Vocal Score

    Once purchased, an link will be emailed to you allowing the download to take place. 

    Pre-Production Pack Shipped upon receipt of a signed License Agreement and full payment of all invoices. This is optional.

    1 x Director's Script
    1 x Cast Script/Vocal Book
    1 x Piano-Vocal Score

    Rehearsal Material Shipped a minimum of 3 months before the last performance. This must be hired as a condition of the License to produce this show.

    20 x Cast Script/Vocal Books
    2 x Director's Scripts
    2 x Piano-Vocal Scores

    $450.00 +$135.00/pm
    Orchestral Material Shipped a minimum of 1 month before the last performance. This is optional.

    Full Score
    Keyboard 1
    Keyboard 2
    Trumpet in Bb 1 & 2
    Double Bass

    $350.00 +$135.00/pm
    Video Licence Shipped upon receipt of a signed License Agreement and full payment of all invoices. This is optional.

    Permission to film your production, and create up to 100 copies. 
    A separate video licence required.