The Accrington Pals October 2014
Directed by Steve Green
MAY – Helen Andrews, TOM – Toby Jones
EVA – Amelia Goulder-Perks, RALPH – William Boulding
ANNIE – Sally Jones, SARAH – Laura Falconer
BERTHA – Melanie Beggs, ARTHER – Steve Cox
REGGIE – Ed Aves, CSM RIVERS – Paul Falconer
Epsom Players are proud to pay their own tribute to those who heeded the call to action, of whom so many lost their lives, and to those left behind to pick up the pieces, as they mark the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of World War 1.
‘The Accrington Pals’ is a moving and hard-hitting play set in Accrington during the first few years of the First World War. While the story itself is fiction, the background is reality. The Pals were formed and fought just as they are described as doing in the play. The play was first published in 1982, but was first presented in 1981 by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
‘The Accrington Pals’ follows the story of the innocent and enthusiastic men who volunteered their services to their country after Kitchener’s calls for a New Army. Their experiences of life on the Western Front are contrasted with the women who are left behind in Accrington, women who come together as friends when facing financial, social and sexual deprivation, as well as being thrown into the social changes that came along with the absence of many men. The main characters, too, are contrasted; May, as independent, hard-working, fruit and veg stall holder, Tom, her lodger, as optimistic and idealistic and Eva, May’s trusted and generous confidante and sweetheart of Ralph. The play has fun and light-hearted moments, which are starkly contrasted with the terrifying reality hundreds of men faced at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.