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Young Wigan actors’ poignant war heroes tribute

A scene from Somewhere in France by Willpower Youth Theatre
A scene from Somewhere in France by Willpower Youth Theatre

Wigan’s acclaimed Willpower Youth Theatre is commemorating the centenary of the First World War’s end with a hugely poignant production premiered four years ago to mark 100 years since the conflict’s beginning.

Somewhere in France played to packed houses and highly praised.

Dealing with 10 soldiers from the Wigan area and their families (all of who were ancestors of people who work or study with Willpower Youth Theatre) the project was researched in great detail and includes Wigan events at the time such as the tram strike, the Zeppelin air strike through Whelley and Scholes and the explosion at Gathurst munitions factory.

Co-director Caroline Joynt said: “It is a very special and unusual production for us as many of the original cast are returning to play the parts they played four years ago.

“We have had help from Brighter Borough to help finance buying the WW1 uniforms and creating the trench.

“Poppies for each of the cast to place at the feet of the soldiers have all been hand made by Sheilah Baron, and a song called Where Poppies Blow was specially written by Tim Smith and plans are that it will be available to purchase at the production.”

There will be three performances at Swinley St Michael’s Church Hall, Shaw Street, at 7.30pm on both Friday and Saturday, November 9 and 10 and at 2.30pm on Sunday November 11 - centenary Armistice Day itself.

Tickets are available now by calling 01942 745082 or emailing carolinejoynt@yahoo.co.uk.

Prices are priced £7 for adults and £5 for concessions.

The title of the play is taken from postcards sent from the front to back home as the soldiers weren’t allowed to say exactly where they were.

There will also be a display of the research materials that were recovered by theatre members at the hall during the show.