Children get free tickets for Sidbury community play

Tickets now on sale for World War One community play in Sidbury

TICKETS for Johnny Jack’s War, the community play penned by Branscombe playwright Pete Wilson, are now on sale at Paragon Books, Sidmouth High Street, and at Sidbury Social Club.

The production, set during World War One, takes place in Sidbury Village Hall from November 9-12.

Rehearsals started in January and the cast has recently enjoyed trying on costumes for the posters.

The inspiration for its design came from an illustration in a book called When this bloody war is over – Soldiers’ songs of the First World War by Max Arthur.

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In the original, the soldier is at the front, thinking about his family back home.

“In our posters, Johnny Jack is thinking about his friends in the Sidmouth Mummers, and the Squire’s daughter, who he fancies,” said Pete.

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“She fancies him as well, but her father doesn’t approve and is annoyed with her for becoming a nurse to help the war effort because he thinks it’s below her station.”

The play, directed by Crosby Chacksfield, former head of drama at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary, combines familiar folk and World War One songs like It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Keep the Home Fires Burning, with scenes from the trenches, the village pub, the Sidmouth Mummers play and lots more.

Crosby said: “All of my friends had relatives involved in that war and I wanted us to pay tribute to those people. Not just the soldiers, but also the people left at home.

“We want to encourage as many children as we can to see the play and discover this important part of our heritage, so under 12s are free for the first two nights, as long as they are accompanied by an adult, and half price on the other two nights.”

Because of the size of Sidbury Village Hall, the number of tickets available is limited, so you are advised to book soon. For more online details visit:

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