Ambitious World War One Commemoration Event Being Launched On Monday

theatre town hallAn ambitious drama and music project is being planned in Scilly to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme next year.

And the organisers want to know whether you have a story from the period that can be woven into the production.

St Mary’s Theatre Club Chairman Gail Sibley is hosting the first ‘brainstorming’ meeting at the Carn Gwaval Wellbeing Centre on Monday evening.

Gail says the script hasn’t been written yet and she’s looking for ideas from islanders.

That means she wants you to come along and talk about your ancestors’ exploits during the First World War, whether on Scilly or from the mainland, so they can be written into the play.

From Radio Scilly

Gail Sibley on the Theatre Club WW1 project

She’s also looking for aspiring writers and historians to help ensure accuracy as well as singers and musicians.

And she’s starting early so there’s plenty of time to pull everything together.

Gail says it’s likely the play will run alongside the normal summer production in 2016, from June to September. And there could be a special performance during Remembrance Week in November, which might include a roll call of those lost from the islands.

She says they don’t want it to be a big imposition on people’s time during a very busy part of the year for many. So the production could include recordings from people’s diaries or letters.

The first stage will be to come up with the story and screenwriter Paul Dodgson, who’s a regular visitor to Scilly, will be helping with that process later this spring.

Gail says a few islanders who’ve written for the One Act Play Festival have already come forward, but feels there could be people out there who have always wanted to try this too.

The group are also looking for technically minded residents who can help to project images or video during the play.

There could even be a role for the local Army Cadets or locals involved in arts and crafts, like the willow starfish lanterns created by Imogen Bone for her constellations exhibition on Porthcressa Beach last year.

Gail says the amount that needs to be done is daunting but feels it’s a really exciting project too, which could turn out completely different from how they imagine at the start.

She’s hoping for a good turnout on Monday evening at 7pm, so the project can get off to a flying start.



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