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Remembrance

History at Large, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Remembrance Day Poppy
devised by George Fleming

Salisbury Arts Centre

Sunday 9th November 1997


An evening of poetry, prose and song for Remembrance Day


Format

This is a one-night show for Remembrance Sunday, with the strong possibility of its being repeated as a regular event at this time of year. It is therefore simple and "portable" in form. A small number of readers/singers, in evening dress, deliver a sequence of poems and songs from fixed positions at lecterns. Over 100 slides, plus sound effects, provide an audio-visual backdrop and visual "comment".


Theme

"Remembrance" is a commemorative piece written for Remembrance Day. Its basic idea is a juxtaposition of images of the English countryside with those of the battlefield.


The Company

The company consists of 9 readers and singers, with a backstage crew of 7.


Theme

Poetry and songs about the English countryside flow into those of war, in a sequence which parallels spring-summer-autumn-winter-spring with a human journey from hope, through life, to deep war and back to a kind of "chastened hope". The writers quoted are as diverse as Milton, Gray, Browning and Houseman for the rural content and we were able to include a number of unfamiliar war poems in addition to the usual Sassoons and Owens! The songs are of both folk and concert idiom. The aim is to remind the audience of the experience of parents and grandparents this century and to evoke what Wilfred Owen called "the pity of war"! The piece will probably be repeated in future, under the aegis of the British Legion.



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