King George V Playing Field
By Sue Hardacre - 4th June 2014 6:00am
Great Theatre at the Community Centre
On Saturday evening (31st) nearly 100 people came to the Community Centre to watch the Nottingham Playhouse production of The Second Minute, a play based on letters to and from Thomas Swan, an innkeeper's son, who joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1914. Simply staged and beautifully acted, the play gave a unique and different slant on life in World War One.
The pivotal character was Laura, a military archivist, and her relationship with Alan, an ex-soldier and Afghan veteran, and Tom himself, brought to life through the letters that passed between him and his mother. As an added strand to the story of love and sacrifice, Laura had lost her own son in Bosnia.
The play explored the contrast between the brutal realities of life in the trenches with the calm, almost mundane, language of the letters from the front, which were of course, heavily censored. There were also periods of inaction, if not boredom, when regiments were pulled back from the front line, rest in areas that seemed relatively unscarred. Who knew that there was a shortage of butter in the UK and soldiers sent back parcels of butter back to their families? Until the War Office put a stop to it of course! Laura, drawing on her own memories of receiving letters from her own son, become fascinated, it not obsessed, by the impact the letters would have on the family back home.
....and the title?....It seems that while the first minute of the two minute silence remembers the dead of all wars, the second minute honours the living.
Sue Hardacre, for the Community Centre Committee said 'We were so pleased that the play attracted such a big audience, though I am sorry that more young people did not come and see it. The quality of the production and the confident and compelling performances by the three actors, made this an evening to remember'.
The Community Centre is a promoter of live theatre in partnership with Cheshire Rural Touring Arts and will continue to offer great theatre experiences in the future.
For further information about the Community Centre please go to www.tarvincomminitycentre.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tarvincc or tweet us on @tarvincc.
Ed: Photographs by Robert Day
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