Two community plays referencing the lives of Milton Keynes residents 100 years ago brought to life by Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company.
The film of the making of the The Best Company tank.
And The Best Company Performance…
On 6th November 2015, the Great War MK partners are presenting the finale to their WW1 centenary project – a powerful performance of dance, drama, poetry, music and film. Drawing on the different elements produced over the last two years, Great War MK Remembered will provide a poignant evening for all.
This showcase will bring together a patchwork of creative responses to WW1 in an evening of entertainment, commemoration and reflection. The evening will celebrate the talent and achievements of the Milton Keynes arts and heritage community and will include performances of original music composed by young people, moving dramatic performances from Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, haunting poetry, and breath-taking choreography with dancers from Shenley Retirement Village and Initiate Youth Dance Company. There’s also a rare chance to see the spectacular replica of a WW1 tank created by carnival company Festive Road and animations made by children working with Independent Cinema MK, in what promises to be an uplifting and poignant finale of the Great War MK project.
Great War MK Remembered is a unique opportunity to see the work of eleven fantastic organisations from the Milton Keynes region on one night, in one spectacular showcase performance.
Great War MK Remembered will take place at 7.30pm on 6th November at The Venue MK, Walton High. The show is being produced by local production company, Full House.
Tickets are £3 each or £10 for a family of four, available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/eventsmk
Manny Ademolu, Young Singer/Songwriter for Great War MK said:
‘This project has been great … it has challenged my skills as a songwriter to create a new piece of work that conveys a matter that still affects us to date. And working with a passionate and talented group of musicians is a constant reminder of the beauty and power that music holds.’
Euan Henderson, Chair of AHA-MK said:
‘This is the culmination of two years’ planning, researching, creating and delivering new ways of looking at the First World War 100 years ago as experienced in the area now transformed by the Metropolitan Borough and New City of Milton Keynes.’
If you’d like to join us for this event, please book your tickets here: ticketsource.co.uk/eventsmk
Experience a large-scale commemorative dance at Campbell Park against the backdrop of 500 hand-made banners all inspired by WW1.
Sunday 5th July – FREE Event – two performances at 3pm and 5pm.
Westbury Arts Centre have been working with talented textile artist Vinny Stapley, schools, community groups and residents of Milton Keynes, between then they have produced over 500 commemorative banners. These banners will form part of a large-scale dance piece, choreographed by Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley, that involves over 100 dancers and will move around Campbell Park. Inspired by stories from the Great War and addressing themes of conflict, this will be a beautiful act of commemoration.
The banners will also be displayed at Westbury Arts Centre from 11th – 31st July.
For more information about the Great War MK project please visit our blog.
This May experience an evening of new compositions, music and film inspired by WW1. Living Archive has been working with Steven McDaniel, young talented songwriters, musicians and film makers to commission new works inspired by the WW1 stories held by Living Archive. This six month project builds on the previous work of the Living Archive Band, and new music, songs and films will be screened and performed live on Friday 29 May, 7pm at MK Gallery’s Event Space by this talented ensemble of performers.
Inspired by the diaries, letters and images of people in Milton Keynes during WW1, this one-off performance will provide a space for people to celebrate and reflect on the people, the lives and the poignant and powerful stories that are still relevant today.
Steven McDaniel says: ‘It is wonderful to work with such a passionate group of young people and great that Living Archive has given them this opportunity to work together and perform live…’ This project is just one of a series of projects funded through Great War MK by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Great War Remembered – an evening of film and music is free but pre-booking is required from MK Gallery website (http://www.mkgallery.org/events/2015_05_29/friday_night_film/).
We are looking for professional performers with a physical theatre background to be part of our Great War MK ‘Best Company’ performance in a tank. You will need to commit to specific rehearsal and performance dates. Please be aware that we anticipate a few more dates will be added to the tour schedule over the next month but that the show will only be available to tour between 19th June and 12th September 2015.
You’ll need to be used to working in a collaborative way and if you have any contemporary clown training this would also be desirable. For more information and details of how to apply download the: FR GWMK Call for performers
A Physical Theatre show produced by Festive Road
A very funny take on a very real struggle as four friends get a WW1 tank into battle.
The Best Company are on their way to the Western Front but the external conflict is not the only thing occupying the crew’s thoughts. As we see, life inside the Mark 1 tank is busy, noisy and smelly. Tension among the company escalates and a hilarious and bizarre internal conflict occurs.
As the tank spins, the characters actions become more and more surreal… war is declared and the engine judders to a holt!
Will the Best Company get the Tank started again? Will they make it to the front line? Come and find out…
The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK is looking for groups and individuals to create and donate poppies, to be added to a WW1 centenary banner. Part of Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project, these banners will be included in an act of commemoration on 5th July at Campbell Park. This event will explore themes of conflict, involving over 100 dancers at Campbell Park – everyone is welcome.
To get involved: Find some fabric and cut out a poppy using the template provided on our website (or alternatively crochet or knit a poppy). Embroidery or sparkle can be added, as well as the name of a relative or local person that was involved in WW1. Photos of the poppies can be shared at www.Facebook.com/GreatWarMK or on Twitter using #GreatWarMK). Finally attach the slip from the Poppy Brief to the poppy and put them in a poppy collection box at your local MK Library. The deadline is 12 June 2015.
AHA would also love to hear any stories about relatives or local people that served in WW1.
The Poppy Brief and Poppy Template can be found here: www.greatwarmk.wordpress.com/poppies-call-out
Great War MK is a project exploring the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes through research, commemorative events, activities and community workshops: www.GreatWarMK.wordpress.com
Please contact Lallie for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
How about seeing a bit of theatre in a full-size replica 1st World War tank? Or watching a commemorative dance with hand-made banners? Or perhaps participating as an Old Time Music Hall audience – letting the performers know what you think of their acts! New music from young musicians, new film shows of the Great War era, extraordinary installations and exhibitions – all these are part of the Great War MK project about to explode on the Milton Keynes community.
Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops. During 2015 Great War MK will be presenting events and opportunities for people to explore and commemorate the lives and the stories of the Great War.
With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and seed-funding from MK Council, this project brings together various arts and heritage organisations, which are all exploring WW1 themes and using different methods to tell stories. The partner organisations are: Cowper and Newton Museum, Deanshanger Village Heritage Society, Festive Road, Independent Cinema Milton Keynes, Living Archive, MK Gallery, Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, Westbury Arts Centre through support from MK Heritage Association: Bucks Constabulary Museum, North Crawley Historical Society and Simpson History Group.
Great War MK aims to work with people of all ages and abilities, providing opportunities to take part in workshops, and activities are now developing. To find out more see our events page and Facebook or follow @AHA_MK #GreatWarMK on Twitter. You can also hear more about the projects on our Vimeo page.
Alongside these events, Great War MK is also putting a call out to any community groups or individuals that want to be part of this large-scale project: we want you to create and donate your very own hand-made poppy to be added to a WW1 banner. Using the sewing template found here (or by knitting or crocheting), we are asking for as many people as possible to create a poppy that will be included in banners used as part of an act of commemoration in July at Campbell Park. To find out more please see the blog.
Marion Hill, author and Chair of the Great War MK Steering Group says: ‘Even after a hundred years, the Great War continues to move and inspire – and with the wealth of talented people that we have here in Milton Keynes, we look forward to so much more to reflect upon – because Milton Keynes does it differently!’
The stories of Milton Keynes in WW1, of those that went off to fight, those that stayed behind and of those that did not return will be commemorated through this project and we invite all residents of Milton Keynes to remember them with us by attending a workshop or event, making a poppy or by volunteering with us – get in contact via: email@example.com .
Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops.
This Heritage Lottery funded project enables partners from the AHA-MK membership collectively to commemorate not only the stories from 100 years ago but also their legacy for modern Milton Keynes. Our aim is to inspire active participation amongst both native and new communities in Milton Keynes – in interviews, workshops and creative activities to produce informative and engaging new works. Great War MK will generate film screenings, music, dance, performances, archive material, exhibitions and installations, all of which will give fresh insights into the turmoil – and creativity – of those times.
Festive Road – Milton Keynes-based carnival company Festive Road are building full
size WW1 tank that will form the backdrop to their new performance informed by the tensions and challenges of frontline fighting. This outdoor artwork will be presented at night in various locations around Milton Keynes.
The Banner Project – Working with a talented textiles artist, Vinny Stapley, Westbury Arts Centre aims to create over 500 banners informed by the stories and memories of WW1. These beautiful commemorative banners will then be used to create a large-scale dance performance. Working with renowned choreographers Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley, a team of over 100 dancers will take part in this act of remembrance.
Cowper & Newton Museum – Working with Olney RFC the Cowper & Newton Museum will stage a commemorative Rugby match in January 2015 – in memory of local hero Edgar Mobbs. The Museum is also developing a Songs and Poetry Evening and an energetic Old Time Music Hall, breathing life into 100 year old music and verse, as well as presenting a new animation inspired by life in the trenches.
Frontline – MK Gallery is working with four local schools to explore the concept of conflict and how artists have represented war and wartime in their work. Groups of students will be visiting the Imperial War Museum and working with artists to develop their own artworks – culminating in an exhibition at MK Gallery project space in June 2015.
Living Archive – Working with a group of talented young people, professional musician Steven McDaniels will be supporting the development of new songs and music inspired by the WW1 stories held by Living Archive. These new songs will be performed at an event in May 2015. In addition, Living Archive will be developing digital stories bringing new life to re-mastered Living Archive Band recordings.
Independent Cinema MK – Local independent cinema company ICMK is exploring the ideas of propaganda and truth in their work creating stop-time animations with school children. These animations will form part of several ‘WW1 style’ screening events to take place around Milton Keynes, alongside other WW1 relevant film and footage.
Serving King and Country – Deanshanger Village Heritage Society have undertaken a research project to uncover information about the village in the WW1 period. Research will uncover life on the home front, those that served, those in reserved occupations – working on the land and at the famous E & H Roberts Iron Foundry. This project will result in exhibitions, creative workshops with school children, walks and archive material.
MK Heritage Association – Through support from MKHA, these local history projects also form part of Great War MK. These include:
- Simpson History Group’s research project to better understand the lives of the men represented on their war memorial, work to restore the local memorials and production of a booklet to commemorate their sacrifice.
- Bucks Constabulary Museum’s WW1 exhibition
- North Crawley Historical Society’s research project to track and commemorate all those who fought and died from their village, producing an exhibition and booklet.