Belgrade's hit wartime drama One Night in November goes online to mark Blitz 80th anniversary - The Coventry Observer

7th Aug, 2022

Belgrade's hit wartime drama One Night in November goes online to mark Blitz 80th anniversary

Catherine Vonledebur 3rd Nov, 2020 Updated: 3rd Nov, 2020

ONE Night in November – the Belgrade’s critically acclaimed 2013 production – will be available to stream online at home to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz this month.

Filmed in 2013, the wartime drama starred Charlotte Ritchie, who has since gone on to appear in post-war period drama Call the Midwife and recent BBC Horrible Histories spin-off, Ghosts. She plays 18-year-old teacher-in-training Katie Stanley, who encounters an Oxford lecturer, stranded at a railway station while awaiting the all-clear signal after an air-raid warning.

It will be available to stream online via the Belgrade’s website from November 14-30.

Written by local playwright Alan Pollock and directed by Hamish Glen, One Night in November is one of the Belgrade Theatre’s most successful productions to date, enjoying two hugely popular revivals after its original staging in 2008. It follows the story of one family’s experience of the Blitz, examining the idea that Winston Churchill may have had advance warning of the attack on the city.

Coventry Lord Mayor’s Committee for Peace and Reconciliation is also marking the occasion with the release of a new film looking back on the Blitz from the perspectives of five different people who lived through it.

Set to premiere online at 8pm on Saturday November 14 via 14nov.coventrycityofpeace.uk, the film will feature the voices of two Belgrade Young Company members – Semilore Kaji-Hausa and Georgina Gibson – along with three volunteers from the Lord Mayor’s Committee – Paul Maddocks, Pru Poretta and Rhys Davies.

The idea for the project came about after the committee published a book on behalf of Coventry Cathedral last year.

The publication, Ruined and Rebuilt by Provost Howard, tells the story of the night bombs fell on Coventry, when Provost Howard and three other men ran through the Cathedral, trying to put out the fires. The very next morning, Howard resolved that the Cathedral would be rebuilt, and it was largely through his vision and leadership that Coventry was established as a city of peace and reconciliation.

Originally, the committee had planned to host readings from the book in the ruins of the old Cathedral on the night of the November 14. Over time, the idea developed of telling the story in a different way, with Dean John Witcombe reading the words of Provost Howard, alongside perspectives from a range of other people from the city.

Committee chair Philip Brown, who narrates the film, said: “We think it is important to get young people involved in the work of the Committee. In our daily lives, most of us seldom give any thought to how lucky we are to live in a time of peace and tend to take it for granted, but we all need to be aware that it is fragile and its loss can lead to terrible consequences.

“It is the purpose of the Cathedral ruins to remind us of this fact, and the 80th anniversary of the Blitz is a time when we can reflect on this and strengthen our determination to live in harmony and friendship with our neighbours and people in other countries.

“We hope that the engagement of young actors from the Belgrade Youth Theatre, speaking the words of young people who lived through the war, will stimulate other young people to reflect on this.”

Watch at home tickets for One Night in November are now available to book via the Belgrade Theatre website at belgrade.co.uk. Please note that box office phone lines remain closed while staff continue to work remotely.

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