Story of the Pals, and those they left behind

The cast in rehearsal for The Accrington Pals, presented by the Little Theatre. Picture: Bruce Cutts
The cast in rehearsal for The Accrington Pals, presented by the Little Theatre. Picture: Bruce Cutts
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The Little Theatre’s Autumn production is Peter Whelan’s powerful war time drama The Accrington Pals, an appropriate choice in this centenary of the outbreak of the first world war.

The play starts as the men of Accrington sign up in response to Kitchener’s call to form a ‘Pals Regiment.’

The audience watches their growing excitement as they encourage each other to join up and march jauntily away only to be wiped out in minutes at the Battle of the Somme.

However the play is not just about the men at the front, it starts by showing the colourful life of ordinary people in a very close-knit community then how this is riven apart by the war.

Social and sexual values are challenged as women become more assertive, filling the gaps in the workplace left by the men as they adjust to their emotional losses.

The large cast of ten includes seven who are acting with the company for the first time.

Gilly Walker, who is herself making her debut as director, says: “It’s exciting working with so many new faces and bodes well for the future of the theatre.”

The newcomers are Rachel Doyle-Richards, Tom Benedict, Daniel and Joe Pardoe, Jenny Owen, Layla Davis and Magan Gault. They are joined by Karen Riding, Andrew Moger and Chico Kerouac.

The play runs from October 6 to 11 at the Little Theatre, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge, starting at 7.30pm each evening.

Tickets are available online at www.hblt.org.uk, by calling 01422 843907 or by visiting Innovation cafe in Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge.