Deborah McAndrew's AN AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY LARK Tours UK, Now thru June 2014
Northern Broadsides and the New Vic Theatre are set to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War with the world premiere of Deborah McAndrew's moving new play An August Bank Holiday Lark. Following Northern Broadsides' critically acclaimEd Rutherford& Son, the new co-production will premiere at the New Vic from tonight, 7 February until 1 March before embarking on a national tour until 14 June.
Taking its title from a line in Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV, An August Bank Holiday Lark explores the impact of the First World War on a rural community in East Lancashire.
Set in the idyllic summer of 1914 rural Lancashire, everyone in the community is excited about Wakes week; a rest from field and mill and a celebration of the Rushbearing Festival with singing, courting, drinking and dancing. The looming war barely registers ... but it will.
Through the lens of traditional rural life, the play follows the stories of the people of the village and witnesses their personal transitions from exuberance to touching naivety as they deal with their loss with courage and humanity.
Deborah McAndrew said: "An August Bank Holiday Lark focuses on one small community and the, often overlooked, British involvement on the Eastern Front. Countless Lancashire lads exchanged the soft Pennine drizzle for the searing Turkish sun and gave their lives at The August Offensive in Gallipoli. The play never leaves the fictional village of Greenmill, but remembers the fallen and wounded - and those for whom the War was far away and over long before the guns were finally silenced.
"It felt important to depict normal life with all the character and absurdity that you always see in people. The War happened to folk who were flirting and arguing, dreaming and even dying in the usual way; people for whom a poppy was just another flower you stuck in your hat."
An August Bank Holiday Lark will run at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme from 7 February until 1 March and then tour to Lancaster, Huddersfield, York, Leeds, Scarborough, Liverpool, Watford, Oxford, Derby, Cheltenham, Kingston and Oldham.
New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme Fri 7 Feb- Sat 1 Mar at 7.30pm (Matinees on Feb 22nd and Mar 1st at 2.15pm, No performance on 12, 17& 24 Feb) -
Tickets: £12-£21 and available through the Box Office 01782 717962 or www.newvictheatre.org.uk.
NATIONAL TOUR DATES:
Tue 4-Sat 8 Mar - Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
Tue 11 - Sat 15 Mar - Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax
Tue 18 - Sat 22 Mar - Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
Tue 1-Sat 5 Apr - York Theatre Royal
Tue 8 - Sat 19 Apr -West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Tue 22 - Sat 26 Apr-Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Tue 29 -Sat 3 May -Liverpool Playhouse
Tue 6-Sat 10 May-Watford Palace Theatre
Tue 13 - Sat 17 May -Oxford Playhouse, Oxford
Tue 20 - Sat 24 May - Derby Theatre
Tue 27 - Sat 31 May- Everyman Cheltenham
Tue 3-Sat 7 June -Rose Theatre, Kingston
Tue 10 - Sat 14 June - Oldham Coliseum