‘The Gathering – Messages from the Great War’
Three further performances of original documentary theatre ‘The Gathering – Messages from the Great War’, commemorating the lives of two local soldiers, Will Cutler and Hubert Wareham, and people closely involved in their lives: Will’s wife, Tillie, and the Vicar of Wimborne Minster, Reverend James Fletcher. Also showing of short film, ‘Tommy Sisters’.
To listen to interview on Radio Solent about the production, please listen here (about 1.54.59 mins in):
Friday, November 9 7.30 pm
Marnhull Village Hall, DT10 1JZ
Box Office: 01258 920381
Online at www.artsreach.co.uk
Saturday, November 10 7.30 pm
Wimborne Minster, BH21 1HT
Box Office: Wimborne TIC: 01202 886116
BSL Interpreted Performance (Wendy Ebsworth)
Sunday, November 11 3 pm
Briantspuddle Village Hall, DT2 7HT
Box Office 01929 471002
Online at www.artsreach.co.uk
‘The Gathering was deeply moving and very beautiful – like a poem, spare in form but full of feeling. The actors expressed a great range of emotions, becoming the voices of the characters whose sacrificial lives are an inspiration to us and to generations to follow and the music expressed the message of hope that came so strongly out of the play.’ Edna Powney
Liz Frampton, Tillie Cutlers’s granddaughter, who lives in the same village as her grandparents, said: “The performance gave me a tiny glimpse of my grandparents, Will and Tillie, whose life I was not privileged to share.”
Alan Wareham, Hubert Wareham’s great nephew, said: “ The play really brought my Great Uncle Hubert’s story to life and recognises and honours the great sacrifice that he and others made. We thought the actors were superb and the play was a fitting tribute to Hubert and Will and it really helped to bring their story to life.
Hubert Wareham’s great grand-nephew, music student, Andrew Wareham, played the trumpet during the performance.
Visitors to the Priest’s House Museum will be familiar with Hubert Wareham, whose portrait, resplendent in medals for school achievement, is displayed in the schoolroom.
For the Wareham and Cutler descendants ‘it brought our ancestors to life, turning dates, names and places into reality, and told stories unknown to most people.’
From left to right they are as follows :
Ruth Allen, Finley Richardson, Summer Richardson, Chris (Christopher) Wareham, Jamie-Lee Scrivens, Mark Richardson, Peter Scrivens, Queenie Crow, Chris (Christine) Richardson, Rachael Crow, Lee Crow, Andrew Wareham, Paul Wareham, Not known (relative of Chris or Paul Wareham), Joe Urquhart (actor), Alan Wareham, Not known (wife of Paul or Chris Wareham), Eleanor Wareham.
“The play is based on letters, photographs and stories provided by family members, local historians and Museum archives. Using them as stimuli, we have dramatised the voices and thoughts of these four people from these remaining fragments of their lives.”
James Webb from the Priest’s House Museum said:
“As part of the project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, volunteers are undertaking research into the people of East Dorset affected by the conflict on the home front and the front line. Family members have come forward with archives and stories, which have proved invaluable. The use of theatre has the ability to make these stories accessible to new audiences.”
The production was enhanced by projected images, created by Alastair Nisbet, of ScreenPLAY, and performances by four Dorset-based professional actors: Kevin Burke, Bryony Reynolds, Joe Urquhart, and Jake Baker, with pianist, Jane Joy. Costumes by Hannah Small. Assistant Director: Chloe Bannister.
The premier performance took place in early 2018 at the altar of Holtwood Methodist Chapel, where Will married Tillie Frampton, in 1913, in the presence of over thirty of Will Cutler and Hubert Wareham’s descendents.
The production by State of Play Arts has been commissioned by the Priest’s House Museum, as part of its ‘The One Hundred Year Heritage of the First World War for Wimborne and East Dorset’ project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.