York law firm MD directs local musical to communicate World War One 100th Anniversary
As the nation, including many towns and cities in our region of Yorkshire, fell silent and held commemorative services and events to mark the 100 year anniversary of the First World War Armistice, Duncan Morter, Managing Director of Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, took on the role of Musical Director and an acting role in a local musical in East Cottingwith, near York.
The idea for the musical came from one of the members of the East Cottingwith Choir, a choir which Duncan runs, who wanted to put on a production of their own to personalise their way of commemorating the First World War 100th Anniversary. Lots of people from East Cottingwith, some from the choir plus others from the village including a barrister, retired Naval Officer, an OBE, a University Lecturer and a medic, were all involved with the musical, which was based around songs, letters and historical events from the First World War.
Event rehearsals were well underway on Remembrance Sunday weekend, a poignant time to be studying their lines, and the production performances were on 23 and 24 November. Over 120 people came to watch the performances over the two days in East Cottingwith Village Hall, to celebrate the bravery of the men and women who were involved, as well as highlighting the terrible waste of human life. The audience were taken through a message of both remembrance and also hope that it is never repeated.
Duncan said “I am proud to have taken the role as Musical Director as well as playing the part of a soldier in the trenches during the production. Acting out the famous Christmas Truce and exchanging presents with a German soldier was especially moving. It has been an amazing and humbling experience in bringing this together and delivering it with the members of the cast. Not only have we been able to commemorate the First World War 100th Anniversary in our own special way to our local community but we also have been able to fundraise which will help contribute to the ongoing costs of the Village Hall.”