Family history takes to the stage
This March, a poignant new drama will tell the true story of a Coventry family’s experience of First World War… the very family who lived in The Weaver’s House during this period.
Written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice this year, this heartwrenching story from the trenches of the First World War will be staged at the Albany Theatre, close to the house itself.
The Window, written and directed by Paul Nolan, tells the true story of his great uncle James O’Neil, who was born at the end of the 19th century to a poor Coventry family who were fighting just to survive after their father was admitted to the notorious Hatton Asylum. Fast changes were taking place in the rapidly expanding industrial city at the time, and James grew up to be exactly the ‘right age’ when the First World War broke out. News that the country was at war, announced on the August bank holiday 1914, shook the family home, pitching James into the most exciting adventure of his life, as he became part of a landmark British offensive with the 15th Durham Light Infantry that would change ground warfare as we know it.
This touching play describes both the horrors of the battlefield and the struggles on the home front though the voices of James and his sister Ivy. The Window is a compelling and beautifully constructed First World War drama about a young Coventry soldier and his harrowing experiences during one of the British Army’s most notoriously unsuccessful and bloody offensives.
The Window runs from Tuesday 13 until Saturday 17 March 2018, in the brand new studio at the Albany Theatre, before embarking on tour. Paul Nolan is an actor, writer and director based in Coventry, whose ancestors lived at The Weaver’s House. If you don’t want to find out what happens in the story before you see the play, we suggest that you don’t read our other family history pages just yet!
Tickets are £11/£7, and can be booked here.
The play is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes long and all performances are followed by a Q&A/Post show discussion with the writer/director.