A GRIPPING courtroom drama, Shot At Dawn, premiered as part of Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival in 2014, is touring Dorset next April.

Venues for BAFTA-award winning writer John Foster's play include the Guildhall at Poole, Corn Exchange in Blandford, Dorchester and Bridport.

Doppelganger Productions compelling and emotional drama is based on the story of two young men from the Dorsetshire Regiment on trial for cowardice and it will be accompanied by local history talks, archiving workshops and tea dances at various locations.

The outcome of a guilty verdict would be execution by firing squad.

Dramatically brought to life, it is performed in historic courtrooms across the county, the Guildhall in Poole was formerly the magistrate's court and the Shire Hall in Dorchester contains the original Georgian courtroom where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried and held.

The author studied original transcripts from the trials, which until recently were restricted from public access. Combined with eyewitness letters, diaries and first-hand accounts, the story reveals how these men were suffering from what is now known as post traumatic stress disorder - but were condemned to death for their perceived disloyalty.

“Just like that one small bullet-in-the-heart that can take away a life in a second; so this compact one-act play

by John Foster packs a lethal punch, not only in the guts and the heart, but also right between the eyes,” said Jane

Skellett, a founder member of Wimborne Community Theatre.

National funding has been received through the Arts Council Grants for the Arts, Heritage Lottery, West Dorset District Council, Arts University Bournemouth and Borough of Poole.

There will be performances at the Shire Hall, Dorchester on April 13 and 14 at 8pm, Council Chambers, Bridport Town Hall on April 21 and 22 at 8pm, The Corn Exchange, Blandford Forum on April 29 and 30 at 8pm and the Guildhall, Poole on May 4 and 5 at 8pm.