Edge Hill University

SCRIPT - For the Fallen

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posted on 2021-02-10, 10:37 authored by Helen NewallHelen Newall, Matt Baker

For the Fallen is a montage work weaving live spoken narrative from verbatim sources, vocal choral work, digital soundscapes, and animated portraits of soldiers' images with a Requiem Mass and songs contemporary to the WWI era. It was performed live by a community choir of 42 singers, and the youth theatre cast of 14.

This montage style of writing and production was also used in TiQ's award winning work Over By Christmas (2014). The verbatim narratives and characters depicted come from objects, documents, diaries and images unearthed in Cheshire's Great War Stories Project, Chester History and Heritage Centre Roadshow, 2013+, in which the public brought in World War I 'attic' artifacts to be logged in a database now held in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester.

The theme of For the Fallen was these artifacts, as well as the histories that they tell, and it marks the moment that living memory passes into history, something which the inter-generational aspect of the performers has highlighted, and which inspired a sharing of the cast and crew's own family stories of the Great War.

The work was staged in and all around the audience who were seated on individually placed chairs. It was staged to use the church architecture of St Mary's Creative Space (stone pillars; the raised stone dais; the carved screen over the church porch entrance) and the history of the building as a sacred space at times informed a shift from audience to commemorative congregation. The work sold out over two nights. A question and answer session was held after each performance.


Heritage Lottery Fund

The National Lottery Fund

Cheshire West and Chester Council