The Red Shed Players are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for St Catherine’s Church food bank when they perform Peterloo - the Past Lives in the Present.
The play is at the Theatre Royal, Wakefield, on Wednesday July 10 at 7.45pm
Last year Wakefield-based Red Shed Players raised thousands of pounds for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund with They Walked on Water - a play about the 1968 cup final.
“We were shocked to see how many people have been forced to use food banks in recent years. In 2012 St Catherine’s distributed 109 food parcels, in 2017 that had risen to 3,576 and in 2018 it was 5,887 and we are advised that the situation is getting worse,” said Jackie Burton, cast member.
“Our play aims to remind people of their history, but also to be active in shaping the world they want to live in now.”
At Peter’s field, Manchester in August 1819 a peaceful demonstration for improved working conditions and democratic rights was met with cavalry charge and cold steel: 18 people were killed and between four hundred and six hundred were injured.
The play is made up of two parts; part one Peterloo gives the background to the slaughter of weavers who were campaigning against poverty and for political rights. It is based on eyewitness reports and historic documents along with poems and songs of the period and features specially developed films by Dave Hanvey featuring artwork from Barnsley artist John Ledger.
Part two the Past Lives in the Present is based in a modern day cafe and explores the question of how we respond to injustice in modern times.
Amanda Violet, cast member, said, “Our test audience found it was funny but thought-provoking which is what we hoped it would be. We also want to draw attention to the issues of poverty and also do something practical to help people in these difficult times.”
The Red Shed Players are happy to present the play in theatre and non-theatre venues to raise money for food banks , they can be contacted through their website: redshedplayers.co.uk
Tickets: 01924 211 311 or www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk