Passion: A Story of Love & War a 100 years apart
- Credit: Archant
Marking the start of The Great War and the present withdrawal from Afghanistan 2014, Dorset’s multi-award winning AsOne Theatre Company gripping new play features the lives of soldiers and families 100 years apart. Artistic Director Jane McKell tells the story behind the making of ‘Passion’.
To get the project underway earlier this year we asked, through the media and on the internet: ‘Have your family lived or are you living in Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Bath or Bristol and have you either family connections or direct stories to tell about World War 1 or the present Afghanistan Conflict?’ The response was wonderful and some fantastic families came on board from Portland, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Dorchester and Bath. Their stories touched, amazed and thrilled us.
Accompanied by film and radio expert, Andy Worth, we collected and recorded real stories from Wessex families. This recorded research - along with some general research of Wessex’s World War One completed by a second researcher, Jane Mongini - became the heart of our play. Our commissioned playwright, Stephanie Dale described the interviews as ’gold-dust’ – she has interwoven these remarkable stories to create a brand new theatre piece out of testimony and extensive research.
Through newly gathered and original testimony, Stephanie has created a play that is poignant, funny and bravely honest. It takes you into the living room of news obsessed parents; into diaries of soldiers; down the camera lens, and over the top then and now; revealing how the ravages of war ripple down the generations.
Three thousand plus actors looked at our advert on Casting Call Pro to cast Passion. We finally chose some 30 actor musicians from all over England to find our final talented member of the cast. Steve Rollins, a remarkable actor and musician from Bournemouth joined Dorset’s much loved Tim Laycock who is also Passion’s commissioned composer and musical director as well as performer.
I am only female actor in the piece. I play the mother characters; the play at its heart is about the effect of war on families. Researching this play has been a privilege and we have all learned so much. We gave Passion its World Premiere at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester on 8 October and we will be touring the play throughout the Wessex area over the next couple of months. I hope to see people leaving the theatre buzzing with questions and thoughts.
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Wed 29 Oct – Shaftesbury Arts Centre, 01747 854 321
Sat 1 Nov 2.30 pm/ 7.30 pm - Shelley Theatre, Boscombe 01202 413 600
Fri 21 Nov – Weymouth Pavilion Theatre, 01305 783 225
For more details and additional dates and venues visit as-onetheatre.co.uk
20 date tour of England including 5 Dorset venues: WORLD PREMIERE - CORN EXCHANGE, DORCHESTER Wed 8 Oct; MOWLEM THEATRE SWANAGE Fri 10 Oct; SHAFTESBURY ARTS CENTRE Wed 29 Oct; SHELLEY THEATRE, BOSCOMBE Sat 1 Nov; WEYMOUTH PAVILION THEATRE Fri 21 Nov 7.30 pm - supporting the Royal British Legion Centenary Appeal.