This year, people across the UK will commemorate the anniversary of the start of the First World War. It will be an important moment of national reflection, where we consider the losses this country suffered in one of the most horrific conflicts the world has ever known.
Organisations from across the country will be hosting a range of activities to mark the occasion, from exhibitions and performances, to poetry readings and poppy plantings. Each one will, in its own way, seek to do something positive out of the memory of the war.
Here in Hyde a local theatre production group have decided to mark the occasion with a new play inspired by local people who fought in the War.
Set in 1915, Bantams tells the story of a group of men - desperate to serve their country in its hour need - who are unable to enlist. Keen to play their part, and anxious about the accusations of cowardice, they are offered a way out by forming an irregular band of soldiers, characterised not by their inadequacies, but by the fact that they could have avoided the bloodshed, and chose not to.
The play runs from Tuesday September 30th to Saturday October 4th at Hyde Festival Theatre, with matinee performances on Wednesday October 1st and Saturday October 4th.
Hyde Festival Theatre Company, which is behind the production, are asking for local people’s support to ensure the play is a success. Production is already underway, but to support the project, the company are applying for a grant from the Arts Council, and are offering discounted tickets to demonstrate local enthusiasm in support of the bid.
Anyone who wishes to purchase an early ticket can do so for just £1 up until April 30th by visiting the Theatre’s website here.
This promises to be an exciting production and will no doubt make an excellent contribution to the local commemoration of this important event. I hope people will offer their support, and I wish the team behind it every success.