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Arts

Tales of a Long Conflict – Stories from the Somme

'No Mans Land'. Image Credit James Reader
‘No Mans Land’. Image Credit James Reader

[M]embers of Prism Arts Studio Theatre are in final rehearsals as their production Tales of a Long Conflict gets ready to tour Cumbrian theatres this November. Inspired by real life stories from the Battle of the Somme, the play will be performed at Theatre by the Lake on Friday 18 November at 1.30pm, the exact centenary of the last day of the Somme (18 November 1916).

Showing the human side of war, Tales of a Long Conflict is an hour long play consisting of seven stories, focusing on people’s relationships and the impact of war on people from all walks of life. The story is told using a mixture of shadow puppetry, projection, spoken word and music from the period; the stories are inspired by the men of the Border Regiment and their families.

Tales of a Long Conflict is Studio Theatre’s fourth production, created and developed by its members. The project has been made possible thanks to the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Production research included visits to local war museums, The Devil’s Porridge, Gretna and Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, Carlisle. Learning about the conditions of war, handling objects from World War One and reading letters from the front line has added real depth and value to each of the stories explored in the production. Following themes of love, loss, hope and hopelessness the result is a moving production.

With the help of Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, some of the members have discovered personal connections to the war. One company member, Vicki Maxfield, from Carlisle was able to uncover the story of her great-grandfather in law, and even found a photograph of him as a soldier in the archives held by the museum.

Prism Arts Studio Theatre is a diverse theatre company based in Carlisle. Company members have a range of disabilities. The company was established in 2012 by Prism Arts, an inclusive arts charity which runs a range of arts projects across the county.

The show is suitable for aged 7 upwards. Tickets cost £5 and can be booked online at www.theatrebythelake.com or by calling the Box Office on 017687 74411.

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