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Drama scholar Gabriel set for Theatr Clwyd role in World War One play

Drama scholar Gabriel set for Theatr Clwyd role in World War One play

A Drama scholar at Rydal Penrhos is in the final stages of preparations ahead of a high-profile upcoming stage production.

Gabriel Speakman, a Year 7 pupil at the school, has been busy in rehearsals ahead of the Suitcase Theatre production of 'A Wounded Peace', which will take place at Theatr Clwyd from November 7-10.

The 11-year-old plays the part of 'Oliver', a well to do English boy who lives in Leeswood Hall in Mold with his Aunt.

The hall becomes a convalescent home during World War One, and Violet Wynne-Eyton was one of the first to convert the hall, her home, into a military convalescent hospital.

Now the subject of a new play by Michael Stevens, life in the hall is recreated as it might have been on one particular day in November 1918.

The play coincides with the centenary of the declaration of the Armistice which was signed at 5.30am on November 11, 1918 - to take effect from 11am later the same day.

The drama unfolds between the soldiers, the English who occupy the home and the Welsh speakers who live locally.

This is Gabriel's second production at the theatre, after playing the role as a messenger boy for the Suitcase Theatre in their performance of 'Waiting for Godot'.

Mr Stevens - known for his recreations of local stories and themes including Gresford, Shotton, and The Mold Riots, said: "I wanted to put the spotlight on local people and how they were affected by the war, particularly when British soldiers began to arrive in Wales, from Flanders, almost like foreigners themselves.

"The focus in the play is firmly on the survivors of the war, not only soldiers, but the nurses who cared for them, residents of Leeswood Hall and local people from Leeswood itself."

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