Newcastle under Lyme playwright, Deborah McAndrew, won the award for best new play for An August Bank Holiday Lark at the UK Theatre Awards in London this week.The Guardian said

Best new play was An August Bank Holiday Lark, a Northern Broadsides co-production  with Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic theatre, set in a Lancashire village in 1914. The Guardian’s review praised it as “a powerful and moving reminder that the war not only destroyed millions of lives, but killed off many of the joys that made those lives worth living.”

The play is a touching exploration of the forms that loss of innocence can take and the effects of catastrophic loss on those who go to war, and those who are left behind. The play is set in a rural community in the Pennines and is accompanied by traditional songs and clogging. The end of innocence and the passing of tradition is explored through the annual rushcart festival which follows the harvest. There are moments of terrible sadness in the play, but also the promise of survival and even renewal.

The production was co-produced by Northern Broadsides and The New Vic in ‘Castle. Staff and students will be taking in Broadsides’ She Stoops to Conquer at the Vic in a few weeks.