Sheffield: Carrie’s War at The Crucible

Evacuees Carrie (Juliet Ibberson) and her brother Nick (Thomas Ferris) anxiously wait to see if someone will give them a home
Evacuees Carrie (Juliet Ibberson) and her brother Nick (Thomas Ferris) anxiously wait to see if someone will give them a home

More than 70 years ago Operation Pied Piper sent almost a million children from cities and bombings to the comparative safety of the British countryside.

More than 70 years ago Operation Pied Piper sent almost a million children from cities and bombings to the comparative safety of the British countryside.

One of these children was Nina Bawden and her childhood experiences as an evacuee in Wales during the War formed the basis of Carrie’s War, her classic novel for young people.

Now it has been developed into a stage show and is performed by the Denys Edwards Players at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre until Saturday 17th August.

In the 1940s Carrie Willow and her brother Nick find themselves in the Welsh mining valleys where they are plunged into a strange new world of rural living with dangers and adventures of its own.

Here they encounter a group of characters who will change Carrie’s life for ever.

The tyrannical Mr Evans, kind-hearted Auntie Lou, eccentric Mrs Gotobed, to the brilliant young Albert Sandwich and Hepzibah Green, the ‘witch’ at Druid’s Bottom who makes a perfect apple pie.

And then there’s the ancient skull with its terrifying curse...

Emma Reeves’ stage adaptation of Carrie’s War was first produced to great acclaim at Sadlers Wells in 2006, and Denys Edwards Players are delighted to be presenting this magical and beautifully staged production at the Crucible Studio from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th August.

Denys Edwards Players are no strangers to the Crucible Studio and Carrie’s War follows their reputation of producing family favourites in the summer at the Studio.

Their previous successes there have included Anne of Green Gables, The Canterbury Tales, The Darling Buds of May, Jane Eyre and last summer’s Treasure Island.

Regular audience members will recognise Juliet Ibberson, who played the title role in Anne of Green Gables, as Carrie Willow in the current production.

Directed by well-known local director Kay Massey, the cast and crew of Carrie’s War have had some additional challenges to the usual theatrical work.

The majority of the cast have had to develop Welsh accents. And they have hunted down and borrowed original war time items, all of which were on ration at the time.

Costuming a large cast in war time costumes has also required great ingenuity in adapting of post war clothing.

Carrie’s War is at the Sheffield Crucible Studio from 13th to 17th August at 7.15pm with a matinee on Saturday 17th at 2.15pm.

Tickets are £10.50, with concessions for the Saturday matinee £9, from the Sheffield Theatres box office on 0114 249 6000 or online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk