'We Will Remember': Burnley Youth Theatre work with Cliviger school for WWI centenary

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war, Burnley Youth Theatre have spent eight weeks working with pupils from a Cliviger primary school to create a stunning heritage project performance piece titled heritage project 'We Will Remember'.

Burnley Youth Theatre
Burnley Youth Theatre

Having worked closely with every single pupil from St John's CoE Primary School, Burnley Youth Theatre's ambitious project has seen the children contribute art, music, or drama to the final show, with the initiative set to culminate in three public performances at the school on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th of November.

Enabling the students to creatively learn about the history of World War One and their village's involvement, the project saw children from Years 3, 4, and 5 work with Laura Simpson, the theatre’s Education and Youth Theatre Manager, to focus on three major points in the war: when soldiers signed up and what they must have felt, what life was like back at home while the fighting was taking place, and what it was like in the trenches.

Drawing on these moments, the children helped create a dramatic performance piece and also wrote their own letter home signed as one of the 24 soldiers from Cliviger who fought in the war which will be read out by the children as part of the performance, which has been awarded by Cliviger Parish Council and funded by ScottishPower Renewables’ Coal Clough windfarm.

Children from Year 2 and the school choir have been working on a collection of war-time songs with Burnley Youth Theatre’s Workshop Leader Alice Butterfield which will also be performed as part of the showcase, which will also allow audience members to view an art installation of willow sculptures that have been installed in the school’s grounds by Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 pupils, who worked with professional artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes to create a life-sized war horse and large willow poppies.

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    "The project has been a fantastic way for pupils to explore their town's World War One heritage and gain a better understanding of the impact of the war on their local area," said Laura. "One of the real highlights of the project has been the willow weaving, it has been such an experience for the pupils and the sculptures they have created are really something and will definitely contribute to the legacy of the project."

    The ‘We Will Remember‘ performances are on Monday 5th November at 2pm and 6pm and on Tuesday 6th November at 6pm at St John's School in Cliviger. Tickets are £3 and are available from the school, with all proceeds going to the British Legion.