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Havering company turning memories into community play

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 April 2015

Heather Stevens, writer Kyle Ross and Pauline Carroll

Heather Stevens, writer Kyle Ross and Pauline Carroll

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Memories of times long gone by are at the heart of a new community project.

Actress Fiona DrummondActress Fiona Drummond

Lauren Bracewell’s company Local Girl Productions has teamed up with eight elderly women to create a piece of reminiscence theatre.

The women, aged between 79 and 91, will see their stories brought to life for the show As You Were, to be performed at Queen’s Theatre.

Artistic director Lauren, 35, said: “We have done quite a bit of work with people in the community where we have interviewed them to find out more for plays about specific subjects.

“We thought it would be really interesting to create a piece with older ladies and use their stories as the theme.”

Beryl Nowlan, who is sharing her memories for the play As You WereBeryl Nowlan, who is sharing her memories for the play As You Were

As You Were is being held with the support of Arts Council England, which has awarded a grant of more than £1,000.

The women are meeting at the Billet Lane theatre, Hornchurch, each week with writer Kyle Ross and actresses Fiona Drummond and Ivy Sayers.

After five weeks, Kyle will begin to transform their memories into a piece of theatre.

Lauren said: “It has been excellent. The ladies are full of such a range of stories.”

Actress Ivy SayersActress Ivy Sayers

The memories include reminiscences about the Second World War and evacuation.

Many of the women were also the first women in their families to have their own careers.

The project has been a very new experience for them.

Lauren said: “They seem to be enjoying it, but I think some are a bit apprehensive – they feel they haven’t got anything interesting to share, when obviously that’s not the case.

“Their stories are fascinating.”

Lauren, who also works part-time at the theatre, in the administration department, used to work as a teacher.

But, after studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she founded her company in 2010.

She said: “The actors are really excited, it is the biggest piece we have done.

“If it goes well, we will do more of the same.”

The production will take place on May 20.

The 3pm performance is for participants and their families, but the 8pm show is open to all.

To buy tickets, which cost £5 each, call 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk.


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