Women’s football story kicks off weekend of commemoration

The cast of No Mans Land at Lowther Pavilion this weekend, part of 1940s weekend in Lytham
The cast of No Mans Land at Lowther Pavilion this weekend, part of 1940s weekend in Lytham
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Nostalgia is the order of the day at Lowther Pavilion this weekend as Lytham 1940s weekend takes over the town.

The commemoration gets under way on Thursday, when Lancashire-based theatre company Ribcaged Productions presents the premier of new work No Man’s Land.

The play tells the story of the ‘women’s football team who took on the world and won’, and has been written and directed by Stephanie McKervill of Ribcaged.

A spokesman said: “No Man’s Land takes us back to the First World War, a time when women’s lives changed dramatically.

“Around 700,000 women worked in munitions factories, such as Dick, Kerr & Co in Preston. The women at this factory played football in their lunch breaks and formed a team which went on to win in front of 10,000 spectators on Christmas day 1917 at Deepdale, raising thousands for war charities.

“The Dick, Kerr Ladies Team won games nationally and internationally until a shock ban was imposed upon them by the FA in 1921.

“No Man’s Land, inspired by these historical events is a heart-warming story of the team – their passion for football and the opposition they faced, their closeness and teamwork, their lives and loves – all set against the backdrop of the First World War. Get ready to cheer for Dick, Kerr’s Ladies.”

No Man’s Land is on at the Lowther on Thursday at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12 and £10.

Events continue on Friday, when Duggie Chapman presents Bless ‘Em All, a new wartime cavalcade show which marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War earlier this month.

The show is back at the Lowther by popular demand after a performance earlier this year, starring comedy entertainer Steve Barclay, who impersonates wartime comedians, and Britain’s greatest ukelele virtuoso Andy Eastwood.

The songs of Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields will be brought to life by Lucia Mattise, with a cast also including Jamie Steen and Mervyn Francis, and lvie music from the Martyn St James Band.

Duggie said: “This is a show in tribute to our Armed Forces of yesterday, today and tomorrow. With all the great songs and music of the war years, this is damp-eye nostalgia, which will leave everyone with a warm and sentimental glow.”

Bless ‘Em All is at Lowther Pavilion on Friday, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £13.50, children £12.

Then, during the weekend, there will be an Official 1940s Dance with Lilli De Carlo and Major Swing and Kitty at 7.30pm, costing £12, followed by the Poppy Tea Dance, on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm, costing £5. Call Lowther Pavilion on (01253) 794221 or visit www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk for tickets.