Bringing the voices of Leicestershire World War One veterans to life

Posted by ap507 at Nov 06, 2014 03:50 PM |
University of Leicester’s East Midlands Oral History Archive teams up with Leicester graduate for play informed by those who lived through the war

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office 6 November

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The University of Leicester features strongly in a new play which brings the true experiences of Leicester and Leicestershire soldiers in World War One to life.

The University’s East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) has collaborated with playwright Andy Reeves, himself a graduate of the University, on the play. Entitled ‘The Petal and the Wire’ and produced by The Spark Arts, it tours to nine city and county libraries in November. The EMOHA provided most of the source material for the script, including dozens of sound files of veterans and civilians who lived through the war, recorded in the early 1980s.

As well as action scenes from the Leicestershire Regiment in France and Flanders, the play tackles Leicester’s reputation of a place of slow recruitment, and the strong non-conformist traditions of the town. One scene is in fact set in the University - or in the buildings of the 5th Northern General Hospital, as it was then.

Writer Andy Reeves said: “The source material provided by the University was fascinating and invaluable. Listening to the words of people recalling vivid memories, recorded in their front rooms, maybe with their clock ticking in the background really brought the past to life for me. The resulting play is very much about Leicester, and Leicester people, and how the war affected them.”

‘The Petal and the Wire’ opens at the Brite Centre, Braunstone on Tuesday 11 November at 6.30 and then proceeds as follows:

Wed 12 November       Central Library Leicester               5.30pm

Thurs 13                    Beaumont Leys Library                 7pm

Fri 14                        Market Harborough Library           7pm

Mon 17                      Loughborough Library                  7pm

Tues 18                     New Parks Library                       7pm

Wed 19                      Southfields Library, Saffron Lane   7pm

Thurs 20                    Hamilton Library                          7pm

Fri 21                        Oadby Library                             7pm

Full details can be found here:,288.html


For more info contact:

Colin Hyde

East Midlands Oral History Archive, Centre for Urban History,

University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

0116 2525065

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