Adrien was the kind archive angel who helped us find hundreds of letters and pieces we could use in the show. We were able to learn more about the people who were from lincoln and talked of places that we had visited and experienced.
Harry Butt was one of the young men that we got a closer look at through being in the archives, we read his story and learnt alot about the humour he used and how through his humour he would be able to keep the morale of his sweetheart high.
Being in the archives was an experience, we couldn’t take pictures of the letters and we were only allowed pencil and paper to make sure we didn’t damage the letters or photos. The fact that we had to put anything we took out of the holdings onto protective pillows gave a good understanding of how precious and valued these letters were and that the adventure we are starting on was not one to be taken lightly. The letters contained historical accounts and we knew we had to proceed with caution and be senstive to the topic we had chosen.
Also in the last rehearsal we discussed that we were an all female cast and we had to take advantage of us all being female so we looked at what the women did in the war. World War One acted as a catalsyst of change for women and gave them independance that they had never previously experieneced. We found out through being in the Archives that women in Lincoln helped build the first tank ! Right outside the building we do all of our performances in.
The were called Munitionettes and Conductresses and in the early months of the break out of war women became integral to the men who were on active service. ‘ Women eventually took on a very wide range of roles in the manufacture of weapons, including sowing the fabric on the aircrafts and barrage balloons’
These women played an integral part in the change of women in society, by not only ensuring the country’s surrival when then men were at war but also in the way women were perceived. They enabled a change in society that encouraged women to strive for goals they had never previously been able to experience. They made it possible for a group of ten girls to study at university and produce a piece such as this. We as a theatre company want to honor their sacrifice.
ROBEY collection. (1916) Handout sheet from the Lincolnshire Archives[online] [paper copy] Available at : http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/visiting/lincolnshire-archives/[Accessed May 5 2014]