Oswestry school friends write brand new WW1 musical

Reporter:

Georgia Macey

Three former Oswestry Boys’ High School friends have created a brand-new musical to help youngsters of today remember the sacrifices made by their young counterparts during World War One.

The project, which has taken eight years to complete, was written by former Shropshire head teacher, John Howard, in collaboration with friends Paul Martin and Graham Burgess.

It is offered to Shropshire as a contribution to the centennial commemorations of the ending of The Great War in 1918. The locally-penned show – Poppyfields – will premiere at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn Auditorium on February 1 2018 for three days.

The show is based on the lives and loves of a group of young people living on the Home Front on the Welsh Borderlands. It explores the stresses and hardship experienced during the six months leading up to opening salvo of the Battle of the Somme on July 1 1916.

Over six composers have contributed songs, notably Shrewsbury’s very own ‘Paper Bubble’, featuring Brian Crane and Terry Brake; a well-known band from the seventies. Brian has also made further significant song contributions to the show.

Director, John Howard said: “The story of these young people’s lives presents a fast-moving, often humorous and historically accurate script, that plays on and evokes a range of emotions. The fortunes of the young men are played out against a backdrop of the World War, culminating in a very respectful and moving Finale of Remembrance. The project is firmly aimed at inspiring the youth of today to seek out the incredible stories of their forebears, played out 100 years ago.”

John is fully supported by an experienced local cast of 45 members from all across Shropshire. They are led by experienced director, Rachael Downey, with the talented Carly Woodward from Oswestry taking a leading role.

Tickets cost £16 and are available via www.theatresevern.co.uk or the Box Office on 01743 281281.

Email:

georgia.macey@nwn.co.uk

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