‘When the War Came Home’ – a play by the Citadel Group and WEA

The Citadel Group, 2014 Winner of Age Scotland’s Patrick Brooks Award for partnership working are performing a play this week in Edinburgh with the WEA Playwrights Workshop. In her guest blog, Liz Hare tells us more…


‘When the War Came Home’ – a moving  play about the impact of World War I on the people of Edinburgh.  The drama combines stories of some typical Edinburgh families with real-life historical figures: Wilfred Owen teaching at Tynecastle High while recovering from shell shock and pioneering Edinburgh doctor Elsie Inglis taken prisoner by the Germans. Sir George McCrae leads Hearts players and supporters into battle.  Arthur Woodburn is imprisoned in Edinburgh for protesting against the war. Beside these historical characters are stories of representative Edinburgh citizens.

IMGP0879The Macleod family are caught up in a Zeppelin raid on the eve of their son’s departure to France. Tam, Andy and Eck, three Gorgie brewery lads, are shamed into volunteering to fight beside their football heroes by Agnes Drummond of the League of the White Feather. Middle class Peggy and Stewart Gilmour’s ne’er do well son goes south and joins the Territorials. After journalist Iain Sutherland’s article on the outbreak of war appears in Edinburgh’s first ever Sunday paper, the Dispatch, Iain reports on the course of the war until he too is called up. A Leith mother loses her son in the Gretna Disaster in which over 150 soldiers perish before ever leaving Britain. The play brings home the terrible cost of war to many unsung Edinburgh people.

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‘When the War Came Home’ is presented by a cast of versatile performers including Citadel regulars Mark Kydd, Andrea McKenzie and Rob Flett and newcomer Euan Bennet. It is directed by Liz Hare. The script was created by seven members of the WEA Playwrights Workshop six of whom are pensioners. Scenes have successfully been tried out with inter-generational audiences in three schools, all in SW Edinburgh where much of the play is set.

Performances are on 14th Jan 7pm in St Bride’s Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 2DZ and on 16th Jan 7pm in Tynecastle High School, 2 Macleod Street, Edinburgh EH11 2ND.There will also be a performance for Tynecastle pupils.

Tickets are £8/£6 and can be reserved from ftennick@hotmail.com or by phone 01875 340 717 or purchased at the door. There is a special £5 ticket for Age Scotland members.

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