Edge Hill University
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Photo documentation - Over By Christmas 2014

posted on 2021-02-10, 13:38 authored by Helen NewallHelen Newall

Over By Christmas was a free large-scale community musical and dramatic event commemorating the early days of the First World War and the role that the railways played in the troops’ departure for the Front. It toured railway stations throughout Cheshire and Greater Manchester, including rural heritage stations and Manchester Piccadilly, and culminating in performances in St Pancras International, London. Performances were also staged at Tatton Park and Chester Cathedral and appeared on BBC and ITV. Over by Christmas won the Performing Arts category at the 2015 Cheshire West And Cheshire Arts Awards, and a national community rail award (ACoRP) for its impact on communities. The piece involved over 350 participants, over 1000 school children, and attracted a total audience of over 20,000.

This script was written and the production directed to accommodate the architecture of railway platforms, across which the play was performed, and the time available for performances between arrivals and departures of trains.

It was performed 47 times in more than 25 locations, from 7th September to 12th November 2014.


Arts Council Lottery Fund

Cheshire West and Cheshire Council

IWM First World War Centenary Project

Arriva Trains


Virgin Trains

Northern Trains

The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Project

Jane Lewis Health Care