Return of the Unknown

The project culminated in a performance of Flagpole, written by Michele Sheldon and directed by Sarah Davies, at St Mary in Castro Church, Dover, within the walls of Dover Castle. The play was informed by the contributions of the participants during the workshops before the summer break. How do we commemorate those who died in the war(s)? By erecting a flagpole? What is the impact of war on civilians? How do we treat and think about those fleeing the wars and conflicts of today?

The Dover Castle WW1 anti-Zeppelin gun was fired before the beginning of the performance from the gun emplacement in the castle grounds. This is the only First World War anti-aircraft gun to be restored to working condition.

After the gun-firing, the audience made their way up to the Church and were treated to an engaged and ambitious performance by the young people from the Duke of Yorks Royal Military School and adult participants from Dover and Folkestone.

very ambitious production cant believe how well it worked after such a short time getting it in shape, well done each and all (Barry O’Brien)

Well what a day, what a performance – absolutely smashed it! An incredible journey – my first play since primary school – an inspiring new play by novice Playwright Michele Sheldon, wonderfully directed by Sarah Davies and set at one of my favourite places in the World, Dover Castle. Met and worked with some great people whom I would have not met had it not been for this project – I am so grateful for the opportunity. And the kids from Duke of Yorks School – what can I say, absolutely brilliant, yes there were giggles, chatting, the occasional mucking about but at the end of the day they delivered – an absolute pleasure meeting them and working with them and getting to know them. I would have hated to miss this great experience – so thank you DAD for mentioning it to me and for putting my name forward.

Sarah we came together as a team – well done you.

I feel indebted, grateful, humble but also extremely proud of what we all achieved today.”

I really do feel privileged to have been part of this – shame it was just one performance.

With all the volunteering I do, sometimes you feel a little drained and asking yourself is it all worth it – then something like this comes along and re-energises everything in it’s path. An incredible journey – we all had different ways of travelling but we all got there together, at the same time and in one piece. Fantastic. (Graham Hutchison)

Thanks also for giving us the opportunity to ‘tread the boards’ , once again! (Chris Burke)

Yes, I think that we did all enjoy ourselves. It was quite an experience to start off with only a general idea, a theme, and then to incorporate so many of the ideas that came up during the workshops into the play. It was also remarkable (crazy, actually) to have a play involving  25 performers playing 35 characters and to manage to bring that to life on the day. I wasn’t sure that we could do it (mainly because I thought we needed more rehearsals), but I was delighted to be proved wrong. And weren’t our leading man and woman (as well as many others) terrific? Thank you for the opportunity. (Anthony White)