Commemorative First World War play to come to Huntingdon

From left, Caroline Molony as May and Louise West as Eva in rehearsals for the show.

From left, Caroline Molony as May and Louise West as Eva in rehearsals for the show. - Credit: Archant

A poignant and powerful play is promised when Huntingdon Drama Club gives a series of commemorative performances.

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, the group will present a production of esteemed playwright Peter Whelan’s The Accrington Pals at the Commemoration Hall.

It tells the story of one of the many ‘pals’ battalions – men who had enlisted together – raised during Lord Kitchener’s drive to create a new army of volunteers.

The director, Dean Laccohee, said: “The play starts as the country is swept along by the patriotic fervour that led so many thousands of men to enlist. While the women are holding the fort at home, keeping the wheels of industry turning and gleaning what little information they can from the mostly censored reports in the newspapers, the men are packed off to boot camp and then onto the muddy battlefields of France and Belgium where they are faced with the harsh realities of this most brutal of conflicts.”

Groups of friends from all walks of life in the Accrington area formed the battalion, which suffered devastating losses in its first major action at the Battle of the Somme. It was first performed in 1981 by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since become a firm favourite with drama companies up and down the country.

Alongside some familiar faces, several new members make their debut performances for the club in this production. Elliott Stafford takes on the role of the tearaway Reggie and Charlotte Dunnico portrays the young and naive Bertha. The cast also includes Caroline Molony as the entrepreneurial May, Louise West as Eva and Nathaneal Spalding and James Rowe as new recruits Tom and Ralph.

Expect an evening of moving theatre exploring the devastating human cost of the conflict.

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The Hunts Post has two pairs of tickets to give away to the show, for a night of the winners’ choice.

To stand a chance of winning, just tell us the phrase used on the famous propaganda poster from the First World War featuring Lord Kitchener.

Answers on a postcard or sealed envelope to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TB.

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, November 12. Archant competition rules apply.

INFORMATION: The play runs from November 20-22, with shows at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £6-£8 on Thursday, or £7-£9 on Friday or Saturday. To book, call 0333 6663366, go to,, or they can be bought on the door.