Tynrham Time Remembered

Date 22nd November 2013
Society Double Act Drama Group
Venue Corfe Castle Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Ann Gaudin
Musical Director n/a
Choreographer n/a

Report

Author: Peter Wheeldon

The requisitioning of Dorset’s Tyneham village by the armed forces to provide more space for manoeuvres prior to the D-Day landings, and the unfulfilled promise that the villagers could return to their homes at the end of hostilities, is a prominent chapter in the contemporary history of Purbeck. The physical upheaval and emotional turmoil caused by the wholesale eviction of the village, with only one month’s notice to quit, is a ‘natural’ for stage dramatization, and Double Act has chosen to adapt a play originated locally in the 1990s to mark the seventieth anniversary of this event. The play takes the form of a series of sketches of various basic aspects of life in the village during the period from the start of the 20th century up to the time of eviction in 1943, the material having been gleaned from detailed research of various local historic sources. It tells a simple tale of rural village life presented in a simple form, and therein lies its charm. A large cast, including a welcome contingent of animated young people, was employed in portraying such common occurrences in the village as school outings, the annual fete, harvesting, church services, sea fishing and the Christmas party. The action was linked by musical continuity between scenes by the band of four instrumentalists and also by projected photographic slides of the locality taken at various times during the period. Clearly, a great deal of work had been put into the staging and presentation of the play. It was an engaging and absorbing experience and was much appreciated by capacity audiences.