Northern Broadsides are to commemorate 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, coming to the Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday, April 29 to Saturday, May 3
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, the play charts the preparations and celebrations of the Rushbearing Festival, featuring – in true Broadsides’ style – music, song and dance, clogs and morris dancing.
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.
Writer Deborah McAndrew said: “An August Bank Holiday Lark focuses on one small community and the, often overlooked, British involvement on the Eastern Front.
“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.”
Directed by and starring Northern Broadsides’ stalwart Barrie Rutter, An August Bank Holiday Lark features an ensemble of talented actor musicians who bring the community vividly to life.
The company’s latest visit follows a string of successes at the Playhouse in recent years, including Rutherford & Son, which featured Barrie Rutter, and the Deborah McAndrew penned A Government Inspector and The Grand Gesture.
Alongside Barrie Rutter, the cast includes Ben Burman, Emily Butterfield, Elizabeth Eves, Sophia Hatfield, Darren Kuppan, Jack Quarton, Lauryn Redding, Russell Richardson, Brett Lee Roberts, Mark Thomas, Andrew Whitehead.
Tickets £10–£23. Call 0151 709 4776 or visit www.everymanplayhouse.com.