An innovative theatre company from Chester has been highly praised for its involvement in a large scale multimedia performance to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The outdoor show, produced by Quay Cultures in Salford, began on Saturday, August 2 at 10pm. The spectacle, which involved singers, dancers, actors and soloists, attracted more than 3000 people.
Three actors from Theatre in the Quarter (Joanne Higson as a Salford mother, Danny Childs as a Salford Lad and Ben Tolley as an officer) delivered the dramatic element of the piece, directed by Matt Baker with a script by Helen Newall.
Another highlight of the performance was a specially commissioned choir anthem called Honour, composed by Andy Smith and conducted by choral director Jeff Borradaile. The event also featured poetry, animation, dance and theatre.
Creative producer Lucy Dusgate explained that Honour had been inspired by the war poets, such as Siegfried Sassoon and Hedd Wyn, and included ‘local stories that people have from their families about loss’.
Artistic director Craig Morrison praised the talent of the Theatre in the Quarter team. He said: “The foundations that Helen Newall laid down and the actors worked so hard to build on were extremely effective; the dramatic element was successful in making a strong connection with the audience, offering real emotional power.”
Theatre in the Quarter artistic director Matt Baker said: “It was an incredible experience to work alongside such a wealth of multimedia artists whose work provided the enormous backdrop and soundscape for our work. The three actors delivered bold performances in front of the huge crowds which gathered on a night I won’t easily forget.”
Projects manager Laura Broome said: “The script was incredibly moving and really set the scene for all other elements to come together. The direction of the actors was reflected in their fantastic performances, which were committed and also extremely moving.”