There was an extra buzz of excitement at The Studio last week, when a film crew from STV came behind the scenes to report on our production of Journey's End. They had a look around the set and interviewed Jonny North, the director, and Josh Frazer, playing Captain Stanhope. The rather super news item was broadcast yesterday evening -Thursday 27th Sept:
Wartime play staged as director marks grandfather's death
Amateur production being held in Fintry particularly poignant for Jonathan North.
Reporting by Evanna Holland and Bruce McKenzie.
Most theatre directors feel a sense of pride and relief when their play finally hits the stage.
But for Jonathan North, Fintry Amateur Dramatic Society's latest wartime production is particularly special.
Thursday night's performance of Journey's End marks a century to the day since his grandfather, Captain A G North, died on French soil - earning a posthumous Victoria Cross.
"I'll be very emotional, but this isn't just about my family," he said.
"People right across Scotland lost family in what was such a devastating war. I think it's important we remember everyone who sacrificed their lives."
Theatre goers will be immersed in 1918 France with programmes in the style of contemporary newspapers, while the converted barn housing the performance has been carefully lit and dressed to match the period.
"I was convinced it was a good play to do, but I had to make sure," Jonathan said.
"I went out to Ypres in Belgium last autumn to see a professional production and I was blown away.
"I knew this was a show which could really work here and I was glad to get the support from the local community."
Those involved in the play say staging RC Sheriff's tale of five British officers in the last months of the war helps to close the 600-mile gap between the frontline and Fintry.
"Hopefully it leaves people feeling reflective about events and leaves them with a real sense of how the war changed small communities like ours," said Josh Frazer, one of the younger members of the cast.
"My character is one who has changed massively as a result of the war and the things he's seen.
"We'd now call it PTSD but back at that time they didn't have that diagnosis.
"He's angry, aggressive and has turned to alcohol - but also has the spirit to be an effective leader of a company under huge pressure."
Locals in Fintry and Balfron are also playing their part - bringing family wartime memorabilia to help create a pop-up museum to support the performance.
Josh said it proves that amateur dramatics can have a wider purpose than just entertainment,
He said: "I think community theatre like this can play a really important part in helping my generation and younger people to understand just how difficult it must have been for young men and women in our area and around the country to be living in the war era."