Swan Canaries at Nottingham Castle

Explosion Col.Angela Warren, Madeleine Mandal, Hannah Stone and Ria Ashcroft as Chilwell Canary Girls in “Swan Canaries”.

As you can see from the above, the short extract of our new musical play Swan Canaries took off nicely last night. We were performing a “taster” for the launch of Trent to Trenches, Nottingham’s World War I Centenary Commemoration.

Naturally, as trainees starting work in a shell-filling factory full of TNT, the audience were asked to hand over any lighters, matches or tobacco. I think we ended up with a couple of lighters left in the bucket afterwards, so apologies to those who went for a cigarette break and found themselves bereft later in the evening!

The cast performed a selection of scenes and songs from the start of the play, and The People’s Choir sang beautifully. The music of World War I took everyone back to a time we may not recall from experience, but still wish to remember. The audience joined in with many of the songs, and it was very moving to pay tribute to the contribution of over one million women munitions workers, who worked, as they saw it, to save the lives of their loved-ones fighting at the front. Many of these “Canary Girls” were killed or injured in explosions and fires, while working with the dangerous components of shells, and its this that we hope to get our audience thinking about with Swan Canaries.

It was quite an experience, and I was delighted with the lovely performances Angela, Maddy, Hannah and Ria gave, after only four short rehearsals. Many thanks to the cast for all their hard work, and I look forward to starting rehearsals for the tour of the complete play in June. You can find out where we’re touring to on the “What’s on” page.


3 canaries B&W


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