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Momentous times for West Acre and Swaffham


By Lynn News Reporter


In 2011 Irma Fowler, Lesley Mardle and Leah Spencer decided to pool their acting talents to form Three’s Company – a group that performs anthologies of poetry and prose in aid of charity.

In 2013 their thoughts turned to World War One and the forthcoming commemorations of 100 years since the outbreak of that war.

Momentous Times cast: From left, Vanessa Dupont, Lesley Mardle, Leah Spencer, Irma Fowler, Jane Cooper and Katherine Shaw (5252619)
Momentous Times cast: From left, Vanessa Dupont, Lesley Mardle, Leah Spencer, Irma Fowler, Jane Cooper and Katherine Shaw (5252619)

What were women doing whilst their men were at the front? How was the war affecting their lives? How could they portray their stories?

Leah came across a book called The Beauty and the Sorrow, compiled and edited by Peter Englund, in which he gathered together the diaries of 20 individuals caught up in the war – 15 men and five women.

By enlisting the help of two other acting friends – Jane Cooper and Vanessa Dupont – they tore out the pages relating to the women, edited them and put them into chronological order.

And ‘Momentous Times’ was born!

Three’s Company was thrilled that Peter Englund gave his permission to perform the piece, which has now been seen by audiences across Norfolk.

The five very diverse women featured – Scottish, English, Australian, Canadian and German – never met but, through their diaries and journals, audiences gain a small insight into aspects of World War One that are not so well known.

In 2017 Katherine Shaw joined the cast, her beautiful singing voice augmenting the spoken word.

The common denominator in the piece is the Red Cross, as all five women were involved with it during the war and this charity is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

Proceeds from performances are donated to the charity.

The three final performances of ‘Momentous Times’ will take place at 7.30pm on Friday in The Barn Theatre, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Swaffham (contact: 07810 773601); Westacre Theatre at 3pm on Sunday (contact: 01760 755800) and Gressenhall Church at 7pm on Sunday (tickets on the door).



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