Step back in time to 1914

Mikron Theatre Company's artistic director Marianne McNamara at the helm.

Mikron Theatre Company's artistic director Marianne McNamara at the helm.

First published in What's On

RESIDENTS are being invited to step back in time to 1914.

A unique play is being staged at The Weighbridge, Alvechurch Marina, Scarfield Wharf, later this month.

Presented by Mikron Theatre Company, the only company touring throughout England by narrowboat, Troupers will be performed live outdoor on the marina.

The cast of four unpack set, props, costumes, musical instruments and lights and as the audience gather, conjure up a variety of characters, stories and songs, magically transporting the audience back to 1914.

The play is set against the backdrop of the First World War, when British entertainment is down on its uppers.

A loss of appetite for frivolous pleasures and a dearth of young men finds actor-manager Lena Ashwell with a theatre but no audience.

A passionate advocate of 'art for all' and determined to do her bit, she assembles a motley bunch of people and books a tour with a difference.

Her troupers won’t tread the boards of Old Blighty, but the muddy, bloody fields of France.

A little-told story of the Great War, Troupers brings to life the amazingly audacious Concerts At The Front, a hitherto unsung war effort.

Troupers is an exciting project for Mikron, telling the little-known story of female impresario, Lena Ashwell.

Marianne McNamara, from the theatre company, said: “By telling Lena Ashwell’s story we are telling the story of the place that the arts had, and still have, in a struggling society.

"I’m also aware that there will be a lot of companies marking this important centenary, we are really interested in having a central character who is female, at a point in history which is often told from a male perspective, and a story about those who entertain and enrich the lives of our service men and women and how that started out.”

The special show is on Wednesday, Aug 27 starting at 7.30pm at The Weighbridge, Alvechurch Marina, Scarfield Wharf.

There is no need to buy a ticket, as a collection will be taken after the show.

For more information, call 0121 445 5111.

Anyone interested in attending is being advised to dress appropriately for a British summer evening as well as bring their own chairs.

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