A Cardiff theatre group will tell the story of how seven Australian soldiers came to be nursed in Cardiff, thousands of miles from home, during World War One in three dramatic multimedia performances at three different locations during Remembrance weekend.
Written by Kathy Thomas and directed by Ray Thomas, ‘Far From Home’ by A48 Theatre Company use diary entries, newspaper reports, letters and propaganda items to create a multimedia show exploring Australian perspectives on The Great War.
During the war more than 2,500 beds for wounded soldiers were provided in Cardiff, at the 3rdWestern General Hospital. The hospital had its headquarters in the Cardiff Infirmary but 23 other public buildings, including Ninian Park School were adapted and used to look after injured troops.
Taking place on a hospital ward, the performance draws on the stories of seven soldiers, now lain to rest, along with many others, in the Commonwealth War Graves section of Cathays Cemetery.
Director, Ray Thomas, explained how he “felt the dilemma” of the nurses working on the wards during the creation of the piece. He said, “I had to put myself in the shoes of nurses writing to mothers, fathers, wives and children on the other side of the world, who wanted to know more about the final moments of their loved ones.”
The group, whose ‘Graveyard Voices’ performancesin collaboration with Cardiff Council’s Bereavement Services department, are a popular feature of the cemetery’s events calendar regularly attracting a capacity audience, will perform the show at:
The Temple of Peace (Friday November 11, 7.30pm)
St John’s Church, Canton (Saturday November 12, 7.30pm)
Cathays Cemetery Chapel (Sunday November 13, 2pm)
Limited tickets are available at https://a48theatrecompany.com/ and cost £10 each.
The National Service of Remembrance for Wales, which is jointly hosted by Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government and in partnership with The Royal British Legion, will take place at the Welsh National War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens, Cathays Park, on Sunday, 13 November 2022. Full details will be available on www.cardiffnewsroom.co.uk.