HORRIBLE Histories author Terry Deary stopped off in Swindon to meet the cast of a brand new play he wrote for Prime Theatre, about two soldiers meeting in a trench at the end of the First World War.

Terry, from County Durham, is famous for his unique take on history in his best-selling one hundred-strong Horrible Histories series. He has written a total of around 300 fiction and non-fiction books and sold more than 30 million copies in over 40 languages. This is the third time he has worked with the company, based at the Wyvern Theatre.

Two years ago he wrote them a play called The Macbeth Curse, and last year, one called the Wyvern of Wiltshire.

“They contacted me out of the blue and asked if I would like to write some children’s theatre for them to use,” Terry said. “I started off my career in 1972 writing for theatre in education and I was an actor.”

The new play for Prime is called The 11th Hour, and tells the story of two soldiers, a German called Marius and a British soldier called Danny. It is the very last hour of the war when they meet in Marius’s trench. Danny has run out of bullets while Marius still has a loaded gun.

The two soldiers should kill each other – but they start talking. Each learns about the life of the other – as the minutes tick by till the moment of the Armistice.

“They are two blokes who find themselves in an unexpected situation,” Terry said. “The end is compromise and understanding of the other side. “

He explained the importance of listening to the point of view of others – even if we think we hate them – saying it was the key to mutual understanding.

“If there is a message, that’s it,” he said.

Actors Christopher Adams and Austin Caley play the young soldiers, while Mark Powell is director and Hallam Breen is assistant director.

Christopher, from Swindon, was once a member of Sixth Sense Theatre, and Austin, from Salisbury, was a member of Salisbury Playhouse Youth Theatre, where Mark directed many shows and became a mentor to him.

Mark said: “A group of primary school teachers asked if we would do a show about World War I. Terry is massively busy but his background taking plays into schools is important and means he understands the theatre world.”

The play will tour around 25 Swindon and Wiltshire primary schools, with one performance at the Wyvern on November 13, before moving to Bolton Museum for a week.