‘About the Boys’ written by local playwright, Robert Fanshawe (member of armed forces for 30 years), is based on the poet Wilfred Owen and his First World War experiences. A full production of the play took place at Charlton House, a military hospital during the First World War,on 14th November, 2014.
The play is not a celebration of war but a celebration of Wilfred Owen’s poetry, the bravery of the men who fought and died during this dreadful war.
There is of course some dark humour as soldiers are apt to use in such situations and the occasional four letter words, but this does not detract from this extremely well written and moving play. As well as the support from CTH and Charlton House, the production was funded by the Arts Council England, which allowed GFMA to find some very talented professional and semi professional actors for this performance.
A large proportion of the cast and crew were drawn from within the borough of Royal Greenwich with extra assistance of some creative advice from James Hadrell Artistic Director of Greenwich Theatre. The play was directed by film maker and director Roozbeh Tavakoli and GFMA Project Manager Louisa Le Marchand, and produced by Robert Fanshawe and GFMA. There was a debut performance for one of the trustees of GFMA and ex Deputy Head Teacher of Cherry Orchard School Gill Swan, with her moving depiction of Wilfred Owen’s Mother; you may need to bring some tissues.
Working with a local housing association Charlton Triangle Homes, GFMA produced a performance of an extract of the play and some of the poetry of Wilfred Owen at the community festival ‘Taster Day’ on Saturday 19th July 2014. A poetry tent at the festival allowed members of the community to experience writing poetry inspired by WW1 poetry.
The whole project was filmed by young people and screened at an event and be seen on the GFMA You-tube channel.