Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl

Spaniel in the Works Theatre Company


50 mins

Castle Centre

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Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl

Based on archive records, Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl focuses on the lives and experience of a Gloucester family in the First World War.

In particular it looks at the women who worked at the Gloucester munitions factory in Gloucestershire.

The powerful, emotional and sometimes funny performance looks at the hardships endured by the soldiers in the trenches, the largely untold story of the changes to the lives of the women at home in “blighty” and how war effects families.

The show was developed through working with Gloucester Archives and has toured throughout Gloucestershire to theatres, village halls and libraries.

Spaniel In The Works Theatre Company was formed in 2002, by a group of performers/writers with a wealth of experience in different areas of theatre.

The aim of the Spaniels is to attract audiences who would not regularly go to the theatre, bringing quality theatrical entertainment to as wide an audience as possible.

During the following years we have created a vast range of performances working in partnership with a range of venues and organisations including theatres, village halls, churches, libraries and schools.

Spaniel in the Works adapt our style according to the material and the audience and have created shows ranging from lively family comedies to political dramas and historical performances.

With a strong background in museum theatre, Spaniel In The Works have worked for a number of museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery, The Wallace Collection, Bank of England Museum, Apsley House, Stroud Museum In The Park, the Jenner Museum and Gloucester Archives.

Most recently writer/director and actor John Bassett was commissioned by The Everyman Theatre to write a short comedy The Watcher Watched and by Gloucester Culture Trust to create a family show looking at Aethelflaed the Lady of Mercia. When not working on these projects he has been directing Days of Hope – a film looking at the Chartists in Stroud but with a modern surreal twist.