A new musical drama telling the story of the thousands of women munitions workers during the First World War began its tour in Gretna followed by performances in Eastriggs, Langholm, Dumfries, Carlisle and Glasgow.
The drama follows girls from Scotland and further afield who answered the nations call for women to work in munitions in 1915.
Ten thousand of young women aged 15 – 18 worked at the largest explosives factory in the world at Gretna on the Scottish border making cordite propellant.
The Timbertown Girls cast reflects the age of those at the factory and uses live drama blended with filmed pieces to take the audience into the story. A large rear projection screen dominates the set. Each actor brings their own story to the drama putting into context the vital role these young women played 100 years ago.
The name Timbertown Girls was coined in an article in a newspaper in 1917 as many girls lived in temporary timber hostels at the Gretna Munitions Factory.
Music from the period punctuates this fast paced production with humour and poignancy as the story of the girls unfolds.
Using newspapers, narratives and archive material of the period together with help from leading historians to create an impression of what it was like at the factory as played out by the young women who worked there.
Timbertown Girls’s explores the work conditions and the desire of the girls to ‘do their bit’ but also their experiences of the recreation and leisure opportunities. They worked hard, earned more money than they ever had before and many wanted to spend it at dances, cinemas and fashion.
The factory brought together girls from different backgrounds, accents and values.
As the leading characters in the production are the ages of those that worked there; they were so young by today’s standards. However seriousness the work and the girls worked 12 hour days… it was fueled by a teenage zest for adventure.’
The production gained a very positive reception from audiences:-
Timbertown Girls, utterly fabulous…
both entertaining and informative from start to finish…
Really enjoyed it, didn’t really know what to expect but we were very pleasantly surprised! Also learnt quite a few things…
Just got back from this wonderful show…
loved every minute of it even had wee tear in my eyes…
an excellent evening last night….
Amusing and thought provoking at the same time…
I needn’t tell you what a brilliant production Timbertown Girls is; the audience applause says it all. I learnt so much – great theatre!
Centre Stage Theatre is part of the First World War Centenary Partnership led by Imperial War Museums and funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and Holywood Trust.