A Llanelli Youth Theatre (LYT) project to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I has gained the backing of Llanelli MP Nia Griffith and local community groups.
LYT is coordinating community activities around a production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, which will be staged at the Ffwrnes Theatre on and in the run-up to Armistice Day in November.
A meeting to discuss ways forward for the project was held last Friday (8th June), with representatives from Llanelli Town and Rural councils attending alongside staff from local schools and other community groups. LYT has applied for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support community engagement activities, including talks in local schools and an exhibition in the Ffwrnes Theatre.
Nia Griffith MP, who attended the meeting and has written a letter of support for the project to the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “It was fantastic to see representatives from local schools and community organisations coming together to support this initiative to commemorate the end of World War I.
“Bringing the community together to mark this important centenary with a theatre production and other cultural activities is an excellent idea. It is so important to teach young people about these historic events, as well as to remind ourselves and hear new stories, and using the arts can be a very engaging way to do this.
“I’m looking forward to the street theatre production outside the Ffwrnes Theatre on Remembrance Sunday itself, but I also hope that Llanelli Youth Theatre gets the resources and volunteers it needs to expand ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ into a genuinely community-wide project. I would encourage everyone to get involved.”
Jill Stevens, administrator for the Llanelli Youth Theatre, added: “We were delighted to have so many different people coming along to the meeting on Friday to show interest in our project. It means a lot to have the support of our local MP, councils and a number of community groups.
“It was a very enthusiastic and encouraging start. With the wide-ranging interest our community project has received and the offer of foyer spaces from Carmarthenshire Theatres for the Exhibition and Pre-production performances, the Oh What A Lovely War Community Project has the potential to succeed and make an impact.
“Whether you are involved in a local community group or are just an interested individual, please do get in touch with Llanelli Youth Theatre. We hope that local stories of people affected by WWI will be shared and the Ffwrnes will become a community hub for this important centenary.”