A PLAY to commemorate the end of the First World War is coming to Basingstoke , showing a contrast between the striking reality of the trenches, to the exuberant celebrations on the home front.

Audiences of The Eleventh Hour, which will be at The Haymarket Theatre from November 28 to December 1, can expect to go on a rollercoaster of emotions as they follow the journey of Private Harry Furber and his family.

While his parents, wife Emmie and young son Billy are celebrating the news of the end of the war back home in England, Harry and his friend Charlie Juster are sent on one last mission into No Man’s Land.

John Goodrum, who wrote the play, said he wanted to focus on the period of time between 5am on November 11, when the Armistice was signed and agreed, to 11am when the ceasefire was set, to allow notice to be delivered to all fronts.

He said: “There was this weird interim of six hours and there were many soldiers who were killed during that time. It took that long to get the message to all the fronts and there were still pockets of fighting going on. The contrast between that and the celebrations at home is interesting and dramatic.”

He said that although all the characters are fictitious, the facts of the play are real, which required him to carry out research to ensure the production is authentic.

The play has already begun its tour, and John said audiences go on a journey of emotions from both sadness to humour, adding: “It is dramatic in bursts and emotional because of the reactions both at home and at war, but also very funny. There’s some light moments, which all adds to a rollercoaster of an evening.”

Staring in the play as Private Furber’s father is John Lyons, from A Touch of Frost.

John Goodrum said he hopes the play will act as a reminder of those who lost their lives during the conflict, adding: “It’s important to remember the war but it’s also about remembering in a way how pointless it all was. Where it all ends in Mons is where it all started, the first and last soldiers were killed there. So for four years and all that carnage, what did it achieve? Hopefully it prevents it happening again.”

Tickets are now on sale for The Eleventh Hour from Anvil Arts.

There is also a post-show talk on December 1 at 2pm.