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Phillipe Pétain, a tough, uncompromising soldier who rose through the ranks to save France in 1916 Battle of Verdun. Charles de Gaulle, the aristocratic, academic and equally uncompromising soldier who led France to freedom when, decades later, Pétain became a Nazi collaborator.
Two giants of the twentieth century who loved each other like father and son until they found themselves on opposing sides in World War II. In 1945 de Gaulle had his oldest friend tried for treason. Their complex relationship – noble, comic and absurd – changed history.
Jonathan Lynn’s The Patriotic Traitor tells the extraordinary story of these great men as Pétain awaits his verdict.
The Patriotic Traitor premiered at the Park Theatre, London, in February 2016.
'A cracking bit of writing by Jonathan Lynn.'
This play challenges us to think about the sliding doors of history, about what makes a nation, a leader, or indeed, a traitor. It is a serious undertaking... It's a serious, and a seriously good, endeavour.
Lynn's piece is emphatically craftsmanlike, perceptive, leisurely and detailed, gently amusing at times.
A genuinely instructive, entreatingly told account of the Second World War as seen from a rare perspective.
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