World War One in Norfolk Through Drama

  • Betty and Davey on stage
    Betty and Davey on stage for the performance of 'When I come home'
As part of the project “Living through WW1 in three Norfolk Villages – Neatishead, Irstead & Barton Turf”, NIBCHG with local drama group NABS (Neatishead and Barton Society) presented an original drama ‘When I come home’ and a song written by Ray Gedling (who has life-long links with the three villages), directed by Brian Wigglesworth, on the stage of the New Victory Hall, Neatishead in November 2015.

During the 2018 WW1 Commemorations, an adaptation of the original drama entitled ‘Tomorrow is yours’ was also performed by NABS at the New Victory Hall, Neatishead.

The scripts for both dramas are based loosely on real-life people and events from the villages during WW1 and are suitable for older school students or community drama groups to perform.  They involve very simple staging with only two/three on-stage characters and two/three off-stage voices, but drawing in any number of participants as narrators who provide factual explanations of WW1 historical matters and issues through the performance which is enhanced with both live singing and recorded music together with a PowerPoint slide show which added an extra visual element.

Both scripts, with full stage directions, are available to anyone in the educational sector or community group to look at or use.  Each drama stands alone in its own right and scripts can be adapted to incorporate different local names, places and events in keeping with the location of the community.  A sample of both scripts are available on the website.  If you would like further information or have any questions about obtaining a script please use the contact page.  NIBCHG together with the scriptwriter hold joint copyright to the script but as long as an acknowledgement of the original source is made, permission to perform will usually be granted.

The song “When I Come Home” was played as an introduction to the drama and was initially written in memory of John Horace Pestell, one of the 136 men from our three villages who went off to fight in WW1.  Horace, known locally as Jack, was one of those who returned alive – but he came home having lost an arm in the conflict. Click on the link below to listen to the song.