The Accrington Pals

Wirral Stages review from 2006

Once again Bebington Dramatic  Society come up with the goods! The society orginally produced this First World War drama some eleven years ago to great success, and decided to reprise it to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Peter Whelans’s play tells the story of the young men of the northern town who eagerly enlisted in the “Pals” Brigade, but actually focuses more on the women they left behind. Although the characters are fictional, the background is based on fact. Virtually all of those who enlisted were mown down at the Somme.

Nick Sample’s excellent production was a really moving and informative piece of theatre, which combined a very high standard of acting from an exceptional cast – Caroline Sawley as ‘ May’, Jane Hamlet as ‘Eva’, Julie Khayati as ‘Sarah’, and Rick Sawley as ‘CSM Rivers’ all produced superb performances – with an array of technical effects to create a ‘drama-documentary’ feel. Great use was made of original period photographs and cuttings being projected onto the rear of the stage, and the choice of music and sound effects further added to the overall excellence – at one point you felt you were right in the middle of the Somme.

As this issue went to press, it was announced that this production is in the running for ‘Best Play’ in NODA North West’s Annual Awards with the winner being announced in May at their Gala Ceremony in Blackpool  – hopefully BDS can follow the lead of WKLOS last year and pick up another award for a Wirral company.