Where: Starting at the Gate House on Beresford Sq, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, London SE18 6FB
£: Tickets cost £12 and £7 for concessions (suitable for ages 12+)
What is it?
Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre and Teatro Vivo present Mother Courage and Her Children, which will be using Woolwich’s historic WWI armaments factory as the backdrop for a unique promenade staging of Brecht’s famous play.
In the year that the nation commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, Bertolt Brecht’s play is brought vividly to life against a backdrop of cannons. This promenade performance draws on Woolwich Arsenal’s history as part of Britain’s war machine, and highlights the human cost of surviving conflict. Audiences are invited to become war refugees, engaging with a cast of professional actors and a community chorus of 30 local people. They will go on a dramatic journey through the site, experiencing Woolwich’s war history, and the historic Royal Arsenal Site itself through drama, poetry and song.
Mother Courage, a canteen woman, pulls her cart with her three children in the wake of an army, trading with the soldiers and attempting to make a profit from the Thirty Years’ War. Her wheeling and dealing allows her family to thrive for a time, but she ultimately pays the price for her profiteering, leaving the audience to question who really gains. Written in 1939, Mother Courage is one of the nine plays that Brecht wrote to counter fascism and Nazism and this important text retains relevance to this day in the light of recent conflicts.
Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) have been creating theatre for, and with, young people for over 40 years. They are based at the Tramshed Theatre, and regularly tour schools with education projects such as the CHOICES programme, aiming to raise awareness of gang violence and culture amongst young people. Teatro Vivo are a South London based company who transform much-loved stories into theatrical adventures, collaborating with communities and audiences to create powerful theatre in unusual spaces.
The Royal Arsenal carried out armament manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research during WWI and WWII. It was established in the late 17th century and the factory closed in 1967. It has been open to the public since 1994 when the Ministry of Defence moved out and a major regeneration project commenced.
More info: www.glypt.co.uk