A PLAYWRIGHT was inspired to pen his latest production about the First World War after Tory grandee Michael Gove dismissed many interpretations of the conflict as left-wing myths.

Ross Ericson's latest play The Unknown Solider will be coming to the Brighton Fringe next week with a story of carnage, loss, comradeship and betrayal.

The show was acclaimed when it premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year.

But the writer and star of the play said he was inspired to produce it after reading a controversial article written by the Conservative minister Gove where he attacked the idea of the British contribution to the war as being "lions led by donkeys".

The First World War, which raged from 1914 to 1918, and of which the centenary is being marked, is often characterised as brave soldiers being sent to their deaths by out of touch leaders using out of date tactics.

Gove blasted what he called "Blackadder myths" spread by television programmes and "left wing" academics, defending the leadership of the British social elite.

Ericson said: "I was not sure there was a need for a new play on the First World War.

"But when I heard Gove going on about the reported futility and suffering being nothing more than left wing spin, and ranting on about honour and glory and sacrifice, I felt I had to respond in the only way I could - and I'm glad I did.”

The production follows the character Jack as he goes through his routine, reflecting on life on the trenches with both a tragic and humorous eye.

Meanwhile, the Brighton Festival is also hosting the Dr Blighty installation, which launches today, in the Royal Pavilion Estate which looks at the contribution of the one million Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire, many of whom were treated in the estate which was converted into a hospital.

The Unknown Soldier is also due to be published as a book by Bloomsbury. The publisher also released his first show, the award-nominated Casualties, which deals with the war in Afghanistan.

The book will be officially launched at Sweet Venues seafront theatre, Sweet Waterfront, on King's Road on Monday, May 30, at 2pm, marking the star of the run.

The Unknown Solider, produced by Grist to the Mill Productions, will be running from May 30 to June 5 each day at Sweet Dukebox, Waterloo Street, Hove, at 6pm, with tickets at £10.