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'There was a Soldier'

  • 17 September 2018
  • liz.dyer

Opencast are to perform their Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show for the community around West Calder

 at West Kirk of Calder on Friday 26th October 2018 at 7.00pm

 The show commemorates West Lothian’s contribution to WWI, telling the story through song, poetry, humour and visuals.

 How it started…….

We were clearing out my late aunt’s house a few years ago,” explains Liz Reid, the show’s co-creator, “and came across a bundle of letters addressed to her from a young soldier in the First World War.  Tied with a faded pink string, the letters and memorabilia from her sweetheart on the front line entranced Liz and her friend Mary Boylan.

The bundle of letters from David Wallace Dinwoodie stopped short with an almost-inevitable black-bordered envelope announcing his death in action. Liz and Mary  had to find out more. 

They did some research then visited his grave in France. “Then a few years later they saw a show in Glasgow called Far from Ypres, written by Ian McCalman. Ian made the format of the show freely available to anyone wanting to produce a similar story about the war in their own area.

Mary and Liz decided to research West Lothian’s experience of war in order to tell the story of so many young men, like David, who left their area with such enthusiasm and never returned. The resulting musical show There Was A Soldier… features David as the main character, and incorporates two songs written in an old jotter by Broxburn man, George Coyle, in  Flanders 100 years ago.

“Reading his good-humoured songs written on the front line, you can imagine he must have been an inspiring and positive man to be with in those terrible conditions,” Mary says.

The cast features young singers from local secondary schools , who are all of similar ages to the young men who left West Lothian for war.

Now...we’re still looking for stories of local people and pictures (if you have any) which might be able to be used in the show or displayed in the Church Hall after the event.

If you do have anything, or require any additional  information, please contact Karen Elliot, Email: kelliot250666@gmail.com 

 THIS GUARANTEES TO BE A TRULY AMAZING AND MEMORABLE EVENING. DO JOIN US

Tickets—which are free— will be available shortly