Many of this year’s arts festival hark back to the Great War and matters military.
One of the first events of the festival will be a two-day exhibition (July 5-6) at Ranvilles Farm, in Romsey Road, Ridge, of items connected with the Romsey War Horse project, as well as some other work by the statue’s creator, Amy Goodman.
There will also be a video running by Paul French showing some of the process for the making of this memorial to the 100,000-plus horses and mules which went through the Romsey Remount Camp on their way to the front, as well as a life-size “installation” of the statue.
The Accrington Pals, by Peter Whelan, is a powerful and poignant drama based on real-life history which will be performed by RAODS at the Plaza from July 15-19. On the eve of the First World War, young men of Accrington heed Kitchener’s call for a new army and become the smallest town in England to raise a battalion volunteer brigade.
Funny, intimate and moving, the play charts the fortunes of a close-knit community on the brink of change, focusing on the lives of ordinary people caught up in historical events.
Tickets are now available on line- ticketsource.co.uk/ plazatheatre .
Romsey-based folk band, Cuckoo Pint, will be performing a concert at the Town Hall entitled “Of Soldiers, Sailors and the Sea…”, which examines Britain’s military and naval history through traditional and contemporary folk songs and tunes.
The roll call for the concert will include recruiting parties and press gangs, army life, those left behind, cross-dressing, seamen, smugglers, fishermen and shipwrecks. There will be plenty of choruses to encourage audience participation.
The band was formed in 2013, over a pint (or two) at the Cuckoo Inn, in Hamptworth and the members share the vocals and between them play acoustic guitars, fiddle, mandolin, banjitar and accordion. An extended line-up for this concert will include double bass and percussion.
The concert will be held in the ground floor Court Room on Thursday, July 10, at 7.30pm.
“Throughout history, the deepest, most personal insights into war and fighting have come from poets,” says Chris Amery, and it’s inspired him to devote an evening to war poetry. “It’s incredible how much good material there is out there” enthuses Chris. “From the Old Testament to the present day, my challenge is deciding what to leave out! Heroism, tragedy, humour, horror, violence, pity – all human life is there. And the paradox is that in spite of the subject matter, I can promise an uplifting and thought-provoking show.” His performance is in aid of Romsey’s War Horse Memorial Project, and Heaton Wines are kindly offering “a glass of something” in the interval.
Hear Chris at the United Reformed Church on Monday, July 14, at 7.30pm.
Tickets for most events are on sale through Romsey Tourist Information Centre on 01794 512987 and online at romseyfestival.org