Hundreds of Sussex school children have taken part in a new theatre production that commemorates the roles of ethnic minority soldiers in World War I.
Trench Brothers commemorates the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during World War I through music, theatre and puppetry. Two large-scale performances are set to take place on Wednesday 17 October at Brighton Dome Concert Hall and will feature the work of 250 local school children.
For this October’s performances in Brighton, children from city primary schools and from Newhaven, Lewes and Seaford have worked together to produce a song based on a letter that a soldier might have written home. Participating schools will also take part in an artefact-handling session, receive a visit from an actor playing a soldier in the Indian Army, and spend a day making puppets with artists from the Little Angel Theatre.
The production centres around the British West Indies Regiment not being permitted to serve in the front line and incorporates the stories of real-life soldiers who volunteered to serve the British Empire.
“Some of our stories focus on heroes whether sung or unknown, such as Kulbir Thapa, the first Gurkha to win a VC, or Manta Singh who saved his lieutenant’s life by wheeling him across no man’s land in a wheelbarrow,” says HMDT Music’s creative director and Trench Brothers creator Tertia Sefton-green.
The venue for the performances in Brighton also has significant links to World War I, as Tertia explains: “The Dome’s history as an Indian Military hospital combined with its proximity to Seaford, which housed the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR) Training Camp, made it a perfect venue to tell this important story.”
An interactive Trench Brothers exhibition is also currently taking place at Newhaven Fort until Sunday, 4 November.
The exhibition features the history of the camp at Seaford, artefacts, childrens artwork and letters home.
There will also be a Make a Trench: Art Workshop, with artist Matt Edwards.
For more information and tickets visit: brightondome.org and hmdt.org.uk
The Insider’s Guide News and happenings from around the county