Community production to commemorate Battle of the Somme

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A unique community production being showcased in Greetham will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Tomorrow night (Friday, July 1) the village church will be transformed into a trench scene for the production which will focus on four real-life Greetham soldiers.

These include village butcher, Chief Petty Officer Charles Throsby of the Royal Naval Division, village baker, Private Harry Weston of the Leicestershire Regiment, and good friends and co-workers at the Cottesmore Ironstone Mines, Privates Walter Brown and Henry Bagshaw of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Three of the chaps never returned from the battle, the fourth was gassed, served for the rest of the war, and died soon after returning to Rutland.

The production is an original costume drama with live music and poetry readings from the period.

It has been devised and written by Paul Bland, who with his father David published ‘Greetham and the Great War’ in 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Paul said: “The book and a related village walk were well received, and the stories in it about the Greetham men who served in the Great War inspired me to try to do something a bit different for a village Somme commemoration.

“The drama is based on fact - focusing on real Greetham chaps who we in the village would have known if we had been here a hundred years ago.”

The production has involved many members of the community in every aspect including set design and construction, lighting, sound, music, acting and an art project.

The project has been generously supported by a grant from Arts For Rutland, and with assistance from local businesses and Kendrew Barracks.

Proceeds from the production will go to BLESMA, the British Limbless Ex Service Mens Association, and also towards the establishment of a new fund to promote further original drama in the village.

The show will take place tomorrow night (Friday) at Greetham Church. Doors open at 7pm with the show starting at 7.30pm. It is suitable for all ages.

Adults tickets are £5 including a glass of wine and admission for under 18s is free.