The Last Line of Defence

The Last Line of Defence – a multi-media play by Grant Watson

Evacuees without a map….Land Girls and Party Girls…Farm Boys and Home Guards…There are Thieves and Soldiers in the Woods … Messer Schmidts and Missing Pilots… They’re all out there and night is falling…

A bitter sweet new play set in the ‘Killing Fields’ and forests of 1940’s Farnham, featuring 18 young actors from the Farnham Maltings’ Youth Theatre.  A startling multi-media production which captures Farnham’s elderly on film – telling it how it really was and  bringing together the young and the old, the fictional and the real to examine the impact of World War Two on us all…

2007 World Premiere – co-produced with Farnham Maltings.  Funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Cast – Farnham Maltings Youth Theatre

On Film – Residents from Care Homes in Farnham and Farncombe

Director – Helena Bell

Assistant Director – Liz Landon (PBAB’s Youth Theatre Leader)

Film Maker – Grant Watson

Set Design – Richard  Nutbourne

Costume/Props – Sophia Lovell Smith

Technical Stage Manager – Alice Lingwood

Lighting – Steven Bell

Project Manager – Jane McGibbon (for Farnham Maltings)



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Farnham Maltings Theatre  – December 2007

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“Since their half term holidays Farnham Maltings Youth Theatre – a group of aspiring young actors have been busy creating The Last Line of Defence – a vital and moving drama produced with Pursued by a Bear Productions and performed at Farnham Maltings on Monday and Tuesday last week.

 Little did they know how it would all turn out!  They should be justifiably proud of the results. Each performer gave us a vivid and believable personality of a young person living here sixty years ago.

 Working with Writer/Film Maker Grant Watson, they gleaned their material from a series of interviews which they conducted, filmed and subsequently edited for this production. 
 As one of the ‘memory bank’ interviewees, I was delighted to meet such an interested group with so much enthusiasm and direction in their lives. What a pleasure it has been forging links and friendships with this promising generation whose lives are so different from ours. These are the people that the young men sixty years ago were willing to give their lives for; ensuring they would have this future. It is indeed to their credit that they are keeping these memories alive.

We were shown a delightful production as a result of all their hard work and rehearsals.
 Good use was made of the space with a simple set which allowed a wide screen with film images to smoothly link the scenes.   A real sense of harmony was achieved between the excellent filmed material taken locally and the actions of the play. I was impressed by the way the actors performed alongside the filmed memories of their elderly colleagues comparing life styles, ambitions and hopes. These 21st century actors poignantly reminded us of our younger selves.  Dressed as Munitions Workers, Land Girls, Evacuees and Fashionable Young Ladies – the loss of life from both sides of the conflict was tenderly dealt with.  City children were moved into the country for their safety; a soldier returned from the front damaged by his experiences – all in stark contrast to the excitement which accompanied the arrival of our allies from across the Atlantic.

 Altogether a delightful piece of theatre, thoughtfully produced, of a good standard and much enjoyed by the well attended audiences. Watch out for future productions from Farnham Maltings Youth Theatre and Pursued by a Bear Productions” 
  Patricia Larke – Farnham Herald

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