The Summer play – Who We Are – was first written four years ago as part of the school’s commemorations of the centenary of the start of the First World War. It seems appropriate to revive the play as we approach the centenary of the end of the war.
The play was inspired by a photograph taken of the eleven school leavers in 1913. All of the people in the photo were affected by the war in one form or another. For example, Edward Brady joined the newly formed Friends Ambulance Unit and became Head of one of its sections, Bernice Lester, served in a Field Hospital and both Edward Dell Brown and John Stanley Coy joined up and were killed. Philip Radley was a Conscientious Objector, served time in prison before eventually becoming the headmaster of Ackworth in 1944
The play tells the story of the students and of the position of the then Head, Frederick Andrews who supported former students who chose to fight, despite his own pacifist principles. In this version, however, an extra scene has been written which features Ayham Alhalabi, an Ackworth School student who is a Syrian Refugee. H tells his story and in so doing, demonstrated all too starkly that despite the progress of 100 years, humankind still reverts to the folly and inhumanity of war.
The production features the full age range of students in the school and a few ‘distinguished cameos’ performed by staff!
It will be my last production at the school before retiring in the Summer.
Director of Drama