Theatre Absolute's 100 is a poignant hit at the Herbert
On Monday 15 October to Saturday 19 October 2013, Theatre Absolute launched their 100 project at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
The multidisciplinary arts project included three major commissions; a textile installation by Julia O' Connell, a film by Jay Langdell, and a short play for schools by Richard Walls.
The collaboration brings together a range of themes and emotions that were experienced during the war 100 years ago and even today. A Kiss From France, a textile piece created by Julia O' Connell, is an installation based on the embroidered postcards that were mass produced and sent to serving soldiers during the war.
Jay Langdell's ten-minute film For the Fallen, tells the story of two young boys who were friends but ended up as enemies fighting on opposite sides. The film starts and finishes with a poignant plot and is told through the eyes of a First World War veteran.
Powder is a short play written by Richard Walls, an MA graduate from Goldsmiths University in London, which tells the story of a young woman who is working in a munitions factory whilst her fiancé is away serving on the front line. The play gave older pupils an alternative insight into how the munitions factories of the First World War affected the people of Coventry. The play displayed a topic outside of the usual First World War curriculum, and reminded pupils that the war affected people in towns and cities all over the world. The 30 minute play was told in the form of a monologue by actress Miriam Edwards, whose acting was 'enticing,' said one viewer.
Richard Walls said: "There are a lot of subjects that I could have covered regarding the First World War, but I wanted to teach the pupils about how the war affected people in different ways. I was inspired to write a play based on a munitions worker after reading an extract about a real Coventry woman who worked in the factories. I wanted to engage the pupils to learn through performance, and I also wanted them to learn something new that isn't taught in their history textbooks at school."
Those who came to see the play, the film and the textile installation posted on Twitter:
"Such an incredibly moving afternoon,"
"Thoroughly enjoyed @theatreabsolute100. Powerful drama"
"Highly recommend 100 – well done" "An excellent creative experience!"
"Just seen some incredible and power theatre bravo"
Theatre Absolute's 100 project will conclude in 2014 with a new full-length play by Steve Waters to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.
For more information about Theatre Absolute's Shop Front Theatre, please visit: www.theatreabsolute.co.uk