Moving World War One themed play staged by Burnley drama students

The cast of For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our Today from Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.
The cast of For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our Today from Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.

A moving performance based around the sacrifice thousands of young soldiers made during World War One will be staged tonight in Burnley.

For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our Today will be performed by students from Blessed Trinity RC College.

Focusing on Burnley, the school worked in collaboration with Burnley Youth Theatre and historian Mike Townend who is the senior curator at Towneley Hall.

Curriculum Leader for Performance Arts Rosie Wright secured a £10,000 grant from National Lottery Heritage Funding to fund the play which had an all-female cast.

She said: “We have been running our Drama Academy for a few years and we wanted to do an outreach programme for the local community.

“We talked to Burnley Youth Theatre and they suggested National Lottery Heritage Funding.

"It had to be about World War One to mark the centenary.

"I had never bid for anything before so was stunned when they granted us £10,000.

“We talked to Mike and read his books, where there were lots of stories about local people who had a big influence during World War One."

Taylor Barnes, from Burnley Youth Theatre, worked with the cast and created and devised a play based on real-life people all from the local area.

The play tells the story of Bea who finds a diary and it flicks between World War One and modern day about the difference between a woman’s role in the army then and now.

Mike said: “The students wanted to look at the war from the point of view of women.

"We were able to help by focusing on individual stories and relationships between women and their loved ones.

"The students have obviously enjoyed the experience but in doing so learnt a great deal.”

The play has been performed for around 350 children from primary schools have already been to watch it and some of the teachers said they found it emotional.

Mrs Wright added: “The cast went to the Imperial War Museum in Manchester as part of their research and took it extremely seriously.

"We hope this isn’t just a one-off and we can perform it again.

“We were so grateful to get the grant and were pleased the National Lottery Heritage Fund thought it was a strong project for the community and for the children at school to learn and develop as well as produce a really good piece of theatre.”

The show will be staged tonight at 7pm at Burnley Youth Theatre and entry is free.