The Accrington Pals

Date 28th November 2014
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavillion, South Shields
Type of Production Play
Director Paul Dunn

Report

Author: Foster Johnson

The Westovian’s latest production, ‘The Accrington Pals’, opened a window into the horrors of the First World War and the trials and tribulations of not only serving soldiers themselves, but those of their loved ones who remained at home during those awful times.  Peter Whelan’s cleverly worded play, based upon the call to arms from the Mayor of Accrington in 1914, tells the story of how one group of closely knit and linked residents reacted to this, and the effect it had on their lives in the intervening years until the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was here that the full impact of total war was felt when, out of a battalion of 1000 plus men, 235 died and 350 lay wounded within twenty minutes of the attack.

This poignant tale was brilliantly recreated by the cast of ten, and the simple but effective set and the lighting, and well thought out musical score enhanced the production.  Each of the characters was well interpreted, and they all mastered and held throughout the show the difficult East Lancashire accent.  Under the direction of Paul Nunn there were no weak spots.  In these circumstances I always feel reluctant to single out any one performance. To do so would be churlish as everyone in the cast made a telling contribution to the pace of what was an excellent evening’s entertainment.

Therefore all I can do is to offer my congratulations to the cast, and a ‘well done’ to Jack Young, Rachel Swann, James Barton, Corey Muizelaar, David Hopper, Hannah Potter, Danielle Miller, Erin Mullen, Nicole Dunn, and Paul Dunn. You have upheld the traditions of the Company.