A wide ranging group of musicians and singers came together to perform in WCT’s production of What They Left Behind to bring to life the words of Olive Harcourt, and other women nurses and volunteers working at Beaucroft Red Cross Hospital, Colehill.
Singers from Wimborne-based, SteamHeat, and Shaftesbury based, Palida, both led by musical director, Karen Wimhurst, joined musical forces with Wimborne Ukulele Band (led by Robin Walter), an unusual trio featuring sax, flute and tuba from Wimborne Orchestra and a talented young pianist from QE School.
Original music composed by Musical Director, Karen Wimhurst, accompanied lyrics created from texts found in autograph books and diaries kept by women who worked at the Hospital.
Karen Wimhurst said:
It has been particularly moving bringing to life these words on the pages of these diary entries, both from one of the nurses during WW1 and the soldiers staying at Beaucroft Hospital. Both the humour and tragedy born out of this terrible experience of war come to life in this production.
Gill Horitz, WCT creative producer, said:
As the ward of Olive Harcourt, Joan Cocozza, collected her memories into a book, ‘A People’s History’, which she gave to the Priest’s House Museum; we are thrilled to include her words in our production.
Joan Cocozza, who lives in Bristol, said:
Hearing that Miss Harcourt’s work will be included in your production is frankly beyond anything I could have ever wished. Believing people’s writings are so personal it took almost forty years before I dared to open Miss Olive’s diaries, even though I had helped her on many occasions paste cards and articles into them.