Real women tell their stories from the war

Keep the Home Fires Burning.
Keep the Home Fires Burning.

Using real accounts of women who lived through the war, punctuated beautifully with some of the most enduring music and songs from the period, Guildford-based Apollo Theatre Company present Keep the Home Fires Burning.

This thought-provoking show comes to The Capitol Studio, Horsham, on Sunday, November 7, at 7.30pm.

The history books are full of the brave exploits of the nearly six million British soldiers who served in World War II.

But what about the women they left behind?

These wives, mothers, sisters and daughters are so often omitted from the annals of war.

However, their contribution to the war effort – taking on the jobs the men had to leave, working in factories, working on the land, driving fire engines and ambulances and keeping the country on its feet – must never be forgotten.

An original production written and performed by Amy Hamlen, accompanied by a live pianist, this show features compelling war stories from real women interspersed with both well-known and less familiar 1940s wartime songs.

The production previewed at this year’s Ventnor Fringe Festival to packed houses and great reviews.

Now the official world premiere production is set to visit The Capitol.

On gathering information and writing her script, Amy said: “I’ve always been interested in the role of women throughout history, so I was excited to work on this production.”

She continued: “It was important to me that I didn’t just use information from books, so I arranged to visit care homes around Surrey and interview women about their experiences.

“I met lots of lovely ladies, who told me fascinating stories about their time in the war, from women who had served in the women’s services, to how they coped at home.

“I’m really glad I did this as it allowed me to hear first-hand what they had been through.”

Playing multiple roles is challenging but Amy is looking forward to embracing this element of her one-woman show.

She said: “I love playing all the different parts. I hope the audience can connect with me and travel through the story with me.

“It’s not often you get the opportunity to play real women in a show and I hope I do them justice.”

Tickets for this production cost £12 (concessions cost £10).

Call the box office on 01403 750220 or log on to the venue’s website at www.thecapitolhorsham.com.