Westacre Theatre to stage award-winning comedy

Playing the three war veterans are, from left,  Robert Dale, Andy Naylor and Clive Hadfield
Playing the three war veterans are, from left, Robert Dale, Andy Naylor and Clive Hadfield
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The horrors of the First World War continue to attract our attention an entire century after those awful events in ‘a foreign land’.

Maybe that is partly because the war is now documented in such detail through poetry, film and indeed plays – like the Westacre Theatre Company’s forthcoming production of Heroes.

This gentle truthful comedy is a snapshot of three war veterans retired (like so many young men were) to while away several decades of their lives in an old soldiers’ home.

Now, in late 1950s France, they face advancing senility as well as the inhumanity of the trenches. It conveys the legacy of war in how the lives of common people are ruined forever, long after the politicians have reconciled their differences.

Beneath their cantankerous camaraderie, which helps them fritter away their monotonous days, is an unease about their approaching demise alongside their shared desire to escape from the limitations of their lives. Extremely funny moments spring from the serious flaws in the characters of Henri, Gustave and Philippe; this was widely recognised when the play scooped the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Altogether a life-affirming, soul-stirring play.

Its much anticipated four performances are on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, then again on Friday and Saturday, May 27-28, all at 7.30pm.

Following demand from many disappointed theatre-goers, the return of last autumn’s sell-out run from the Westacre Theatre Company of Shirley Valentine will start on Friday, June 17. Karen Bates will revive the role in Willy Russell’s dramatic monologue about the housewife desperate to escape her humdrum lifestyle and regain her youthful freedom. Both moving and amusing, Karen’s performances met with great acclaim.

For details and booking of all events, visit www.westacretheatre.com or call 01760 755800.