Help is needed to create a moving new play that remembers WW1
A First World War bunker toured Gwent to encourage residents to talk about their families’ experiences of the home front during the Great War. Photographed (L to R): Chris Walters and Chris Hoad from Head4Arts (H4A) paraded themselves in Cwmbran looking to recruit members from the local community to volunteer to take part in a play to be performed in theatres at Abertillery, Cwmbran, Merthyr Tydfil and Blackwood.
Chris Walters said: “We are looking for writers and actors to devise the script. We need singers and choirs to give voice to well-known songs. We also need people to help gather costumes.”
Chris Hoad said: “The play is based on research uncovered by Head4Arts and it will be using real and fictitious information from letters and telegrams. Using both live action and film the play will bring to life the joys and sadness of the events at the time of the First World War.”
The play is entitled The Last Post and it remembers WW1 as it follows the story of a young man, too young to enlist but who volunteers to carry letters from the front line. Head4Arts manager, Kate Strudwick said: “People don’t need to have any previous experience of doing a play. There are lots of different ways that you can join in. For example, we’re looking for people who can sing some of the well-known songs, and people to gather costumes and make props. So, you can get involved as an individual or as a group.”
Head4Arts was established in April 2008. It is a community arts organisation which operates in the eastern heads of the valleys area covering the county boroughs of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen. Head4Arts is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government through the Arts Council of Wales and is supported by a partnership of the four local authorities involved. They seek to provide high-quality, inspirational arts experiences that are relevant to local communities. Some of their work is delivered on a time-limited project basis, whereas other activities run throughout the year.
Head4Arts delivers a diverse programme of work, ranging from running drop-in workshops at festivals to staging large-scale regional performances at high-profile events. They engage with approximately 4,000 people each year and have so far created employment opportunities for around 350 freelance arts practitioners. Head4Arts claim to believe in the transformational quality of the arts and their ability to simulate positive change in local communities. They also work with partners from a range of different sectors; such as community development, youth services, criminal justice and the health sector, using the arts to achieve a variety of outcomes.