Cornwall Life - - THE DIARY -

Imag­ine a Cor­nish vil­lage whose men all came home from the trenches. Imag­ine a war me­mo­rial hon­our­ing the liv­ing, not the dead. Imag­ine a place sym­bol­is­ing hope amid hor­ror.

Wel­come to Herods­foot in East Corn­wall. Ev­ery one of the com­mu­nity’s 13 men who went to war came home, and their names are recorded in stone on the vil­lage green.

Through im­mer­sive drama, a live brass band and con­tem­po­rary dance, Third Light tells the mov­ing story of one of Bri­tain’s 53 “thank­ful vil­lages” – and the only one in Corn­wall.

The show was con­ceived and writ­ten by Si­mon Parker, who said: “You’d think, af­ter a hun­dred years, all the sto­ries of the First World War would had been told – but it’s sur­pris­ing how few peo­ple know about this ‘thank­ful’ or ‘blessed’ vil­lage.”

First staged at Sterts The­atre in 2014, Third Light played to sell-out au­di­ences.

The play’s au­thor, whose pre­vi­ous pro­duc­tions in­clude Gon­a­mena, Seven Stars, A Star On The Mizzen, and The Il­leg­i­ble Bach­e­lor, said: “My grand­fa­thers both served in France dur­ing the First World War, so I was al­ways in­ter­ested in what they went through. One was gassed, the other suf­fered a se­ri­ous leg wound, and although they sur­vived the con­flict, when so many didn’t, the mis­eries they ex­pe­ri­enced must have been ter­ri­ble. Their sur­vival was largely a mat­ter of luck – and it is that theme of luck and for­tune that runs through Third Light.

“One of my grand­fa­thers joined up at the very be­gin­ning of the war as a bu­gler. He en­listed along with three boy­hood friends – all of whom were killed. This left my grand­fa­ther ask­ing ‘why me?’ for the rest of his long life – much as the men of Herods­foot must have felt.”

Di­rected by Ni­cola Rosewarne, chore­ographed by Ben Dunks, de­signed by Meier Wil­liams, and with the mu­sic of Sir Mal­colm Arnold and Si­mon

Dob­son played live by St Pin­nock Brass Band and led by David John­son, Third Light is per­formed by an en­sem­ble of 70 pro­fes­sional and com­mu­nity ac­tors and dancers. Bert and Buzz, the two old soldiers cen­tral to the nar­ra­tive, who find them­selves re­luc­tantly hav­ing to face yet an­other Re­mem­brance Day pa­rade, are played by well-known Cor­nish ac­tors, Char­lie Barne­cut and Iain Mar­shall.

Third Light is sup­ported by Feast, Arts Coun­cil Eng­land, Fal­mouth Univer­sity, Corn­wall Coun­cil, Amata, and Scryfa. For tick­ets visit mi­ or call the box of­fice on 01736 810181.

Third LightA unique view of the First World War is un­veiled in Si­mon Parker’s play Third Light at The Mi­nack

Third Light

Third Light

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