As1 + 2 Presentations = Job-Done!
Award winning AsOne Theatre Company was pleased to round off its latest heritage theatre project by presenting Maria Gayton Community Engagement Officer of the Dorset History Centre with the final research and audio archive that led to their recent touring theatre production of PASSION – Line of Departure.
A presentation was also made to the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation with a cheque for £300 raised from the outgoing bucket collection from the recent autumn 2014 tour of PASSION. John Thornton’s story was a major thread of the play and is told through the eyes his parents Peter and Linda; how they dealt with his tours as a soldier, the news leading up to, and following, his death in Afghanistan; and how they honoured his dying wish of a legacy to help young people to achieve their dreams. At the presentation Peter and Linda Thornton announced that their son, John’s original Afghanistan Herrick 07/08 diary is to be lodged at The Imperial War Museum.
The presentation courtesy of The Gallery on The Square, Poundbury, Dorset was attended by members of the: creative team, researchers, cast, contributors and invited guests including The Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Peter Mann who said: ‘We are so lucky to have a theatre company like AsOne who care passionately about their county base, and do so much in their own county town. Their work is greatly valued.’
This marked the conclusion of the theatre company’s two year 1914/2014 project; it’s planning, research, and finally telling of the resulting stories gathered throughout AsOne Theatre’s Dorset base through a new play; all made possible with funding from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery, West Dorset DC and Dorchester TC as well as major business sponsor Brewery Square. The play – by Stephanie Dale, with music and song by Tim Laycock – conveys the stories of soldiers and their families 100 years apart by affectingly interweaving this newly gathered testimony. PASSION- Line of Departure is poignant, funny and bravely honest. The play takes the audience into the living room of news obsessed parents; into diaries of soldiers; down a camera lens, and over the top then and now; revealing how the ravages of war ripple down the generations. Although universal, the stories were uniquely from Dorset and wider Wessex families and individuals. The play enjoyed an original tour of some 20 venues throughout the South of England including London; with theatres and arts centres of all sizes including secondary schools with accompanying workshops on creating theatre out of the words of real people – Verbatim. It is hoped in 2018 to mark the end of four years of commemoration that the play will be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Finally in large group photo –
Front row left to right and back row right to left
Family Trustees, John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation, and Project PASSION Story Contributors Linda and Peter Thornton; Maria Gayton, Dorset History Centre; Research Assistant AsOne Theatre Company Jane Mongini; ; Project Story Contributor, Jenny Hunt; AsOne Theatre Finance and Funding Officer, Kevin Butcher; The Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Peter Mann; AsOne Audio Professional, Andy Worth; DDCC Councillor Mollie Rennie; Friend of AsOne, Susan Worth; Dorset History Centre Susan