Theatre Choice: What Then Was War

Saturday 8th November 2014. 7.30pm. St Peter De Merton Church, De Parys Ave, Bedford. MK40 2TX

We’re really looking forward to seeing the latest collaboration that Bedford based No Loss Productions are involved in. They are teaming up with the Royal British Legion, Bedford and District Branch to present What Then Was War?, a poetry and music evening to mark the Centenary of the First World War.

What Then Was War flyer 2

The evening will feature readings from the War Poets by local actors, music of the period and specially commissioned pieces by local composer Sophie Viney.

Sophie Viney photo

Sophie told us why she got involved:

I was drawn to this event as it provided a platform through the medium of spoken word and music to reflect on the changes in attitude toward the Great War, from the initial stages of patriotism through to its swift and utterly devastating reality. The opportunity to create new music in collaboration with local artists in response to this legacy has been an inspiration. It has been fascinating sourcing text via local historian Richard Galley for one of the original compositions To The Seaforths – a poem written by an anonymous Bedford woman in 1915 about 5th Battalion (Territorial) Seaforth Highlanders stationed in Bedford. I have also set Jessie Popes’ war time poem ‘Socks’ – an intimate and poignant work giving a female perspective on war time experience. The music also comprises contemporary arrangements of songs sung by soldiers in the trenches – songs that highlight brutal truths, often though the use of humorous lyrics and parodies of songs and hymns of the time.”

Also taking part will be Bedford Arts Choir under the direction of Roger Illingworth and Bedford Choral Society Chamber Choir under the direction of Ian Smith.

The evening is part of a larger project ‘The Legacy of the 1914-18 War’, in Bedford. The project provides a series of educational and cultural experiences that engages the population of Bedford and the surrounding district in the centenary of the commencement of the 1914-18 War.

Along with the Poetry and Music evening a series of Lectures featuring speakers from Bletchley Park, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, University of Bedfordshire, local military historians and Bedford Gurdwara  are planned over the next few years. At the core of these lectures will be an examination of the ways in which freedoms, relationships and technologies we take for granted today stem from developments which occurred during the war. This will include the role of women, the contribution of the Indian army and Bedford Regiment, technical advancements and an understanding of ancient civilisations as a result of archaeological finds.

Thanks go to Bedford Creative Arts, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for support of this project

Tickets are on sale at the Central Box Office, Tourist Information Office,

Tel: 01234 718112 £8 full price (£6 Concessions)


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Editor of The Bedford Clanger, organiser behind BedPop, an events manager and a freelance copywriter


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