Wednesday, March 16th, 2016...12:26 pm

Heroism

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Our original idea for our piece, which we had titled Heroism was a based performance designed to dismiss the members of the audience from the balcony room and escort them to a World War I trench. The idea was inspired by the two memorial stones laid on the forecourt of The Drill Hall and we wanted to recreate an authentic scenario based on these heroes. In order to gain further research, we went to The Archives which led to us realizing there was a toffee endorsement by one of the soldiers (James Upton). “Macintosh’s Toffee De Luxe to the Troops and the great sailors. It gives them great pleasure, it helps them to forget danger, it passes away many a tedious hour, it sustains their stamina” (The Lincolnshire Chronicle, 1915) this inspired us to include this into our performance as it was an interesting and distinctive link to the site itself.

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Toffee Poster

Toffee Poster

 

History Of Our Piece

During World War I (1914-1918), there were two soldiers named Leonard Keyworth and James Upton. After the assault on the German position by the 24th Battalion, efforts were made by that Unit to follow up their success by a bomb attack, during the progress of which 58 men out of a total 75 became casualties. During this very fierce encounter, Keyworth stood fully exposed for 2 hours on the top of the enemy’s parapet and threw about 150 bombs amongst the Germans, who were only a few yards away. (London Gazette, 2 July 1915).

On the 9th May 1915 at Rouges Bancs, France, Corporal Upton rescued the wounded while exposed to rifle and artillery fire, going close to the enemy’s parapet. One wounded man was killed by a shell while the corporal was carrying him. When not actually carrying the wounded he was engaged in dressing and bandaging the serious cases in front of our parapet. (Wikipedia, 2016).

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Changing Our Idea

This idea spawned debate within the group and we decided to pursue an idea where the three of us lead 1 to 1 performances with audience members based on telling the stories of lost items from what was found in the balcony room.

An idea that stemmed from this was the potential use of the toffee as one of the items related to The Drill Hall, and that our research into the soldiers would not be lost as a result of this drastic change in style of performance. Expanding on that idea was a suggestion from Michael that music could be a part of the performance, a ‘lost’ instrument could be used to play one of the songs that were played at the drill Hall during the venues time as a music-based venue.

Expanding on that idea was a suggestion from Michael that music could be a part of the performance, a ‘lost’ instrument could be used to play one of the songs that were played at The Drill Hall during the venues time as a music-based venue. We all suggested putting our talents into the Performance such as Jaimie playing a guitar and myself singing.

Our piece is now moving more towards being a more intimate and personal performance, designed to use the natural ambience of the room to give our piece a surreal atmosphere.

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