Church stages first professional production

Moving Bodies

Friday, 31st August 2018, 1:40 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 1:46 pm

St James’ Church, Heckmondwike on Saturday September 22.

Theatre company artistic director Daniel Ellis recently got married at St James’ Church in Heckmondwike and in September directs the very first professional production staged there. Daniel, who comes from Tonbridge Wells but lives in Derby married his fiancee Emily earlier this month.

“I’ve spent time at the church over the last four or five years and have helped them with a few events. It’s an amazing building and I thought, what a great place to put on a piece of theatre,” said Daniel whose company Open Road Productions is based in Derby.

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Moving Bodies is a one man show set during the First World War and acted by Adam Horvath (see rehearsal photograph).

It relies on a compelling mixture of storytelling, music and visual effects to deliver its tale. Following the success of the company’s three original musicals in Derby, Daniel says they were keen to do something different. Over 900,000 British soldiers fought and died during The Great War. Moving Bodies follows the story of one brave man, turning from soldier to grave digger in the hope of giving his fellow fallen comrades a peaceful place to rest. “It was very painful to bury the bodies of the unknown,” the character tells his audience.

Daniel says from the outset the company didn’t want to do a typical story.

He explained that Adam’s character never exisited but is in reality the combination of a number of real soldiers.

Moving Bodies opens at Derby Theatre from September 12-14 before moving north to West Yorkshire.

Funding permitting the company hopes to take Moving Bodies on a full tour next year. To see a clip go to


To book tickets go to, call in at the church or call 07794724382.