WW1 theme to autumn season

Coope Boyes and Simpson'Photo credit: Willem+Marijke Defijn+Vernimmen
Coope Boyes and Simpson'Photo credit: Willem+Marijke Defijn+Vernimmen

Derby LIVE’s autumn programme is to mark the centenary of the First World War with a selection of theatre, music and story-telling.

The eighth Derby Folk Festival includes two commerative pieces; In Flanders Field from Coope, Boyes and Simpson, and All Quiet on the Western Front, with readings by students from Chellaston School and music from Aftermath.

The former is on Saturday October 4 from 12noon-1.20pm in the city marquee.

In Flanders Fields takes its name from the poem written by John McCrae, who was killed near Yprès in the First War.

Written and compiled by Coope, Boyes and Simpson, the production is a tribute to lives caught up in the War To End All Wars and marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

It brings together the humour of the soldiers on the Western Front who contributed to the famous Trench magazine, The Wipers Times, the poetry which turned experience of ‘the pity of war’ into a lasting memorial and – most evocative of all – music of the time and specially commissioned songs.

All Quiet On The Western Front takes place later on the same day, from 6pm-7.15pm, at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre.

Short passages of text from Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war classic will be read by students from Chellaston School, interwoven with narrative extracts from Mick Jones’s play The Soldiers Have Taken Our Horses Away.

The readings will be interspersed with songs from the six piece Aftermath band – featuring Ian Carter (Muckram Wakes, Derbyshire Volunteers…), including original musical settings to poems written by Philip Larkin, Siegfried Sassoon and Cicely Fox-Smith.

On Sunday, October 12, from 2.30pm and 7pm at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre, Thanks for the Memory present Music Hall – In the Shadow of WW1.

Local amateur group Thanks for the Memory commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of WW1. Join them to listen or sing-along to favourites including Pack Up Your Troubles, Keep The Home Fires Burning, They Didn’t Believe Me, Roses Of Picardy and Land Of Hope And Glory.

Thanks For The Memory is a touring musical theatre company, formed at the turn of the millennium and comprising members of Derby Playhouse and subsequently Derby LIVE Community Theatre. Its aims are twofold; the conservation of musical style from bygone eras, and helping to raise money for charitable causes.

Feelgood Theatre Productions present Not About Heroes from October 21-25 at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre.

The award winning company returns to present Stephen MacDonald’s inspirational must-see play. It is a timeless and uncompromising exploration ofcourage, of humanity and an intense friendship forged through poetry and the power of words overshadowed by a terrible and all-consuming war.

During the First World War, two of England’s greatest 20th century war poets met at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh. Siegfried Sassoon was a decorated war hero hospitalised after protesting against the continuing war. Wilfred Owen was a victim of shell shock and accused of cowardice.

Weaving their great poetry into the play, this emotionally powerful and often witty offering tells the moving story of the friendship that transformed them both.

Hugh Lupton, Nick Hennessey, John Dipper and James Patterson will perform Barbed Wire for Kisses – A Village at War at the Guildhall Theatre on Saturday, November 1, from 7.30pm.

With the passing of the last survivors, the events of the Great War are slipping beyond human memory. In a powerfully moving performance, acclaimed storytellers Hugh Lupton and Nick Hennessey and musicians John Dipper and James Patterson tell the story of the ‘the war to end all wars’ through the stories of the families in one small Lincolnshire village.

Tickets for all of the above shows are available from the Derby LIVE website www.derbylive.co.ukor through the box office on 01332 255800.