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‘Dedication’ at the LSPU Hall focuses on National War Memorial in St. John’s

Allison Kelly as Geraldine Drover and David Ley as Field Marshall Douglas Haig on the opening night of “Dedication” at the LSPU Hall.
Allison Kelly as Geraldine Drover and David Ley as Field Marshall Douglas Haig on the opening night of “Dedication” at the LSPU Hall. - Submitted

RCA Theatre Company kicks off its 2017-18 season with the world premiere of “Dedication” at the LSPU Hall.

The play is written by Edward Riche and directed by Charlie Tomlinson.

It stars David Ley as Field Marshall Douglas Haig, a First World War general who travels to St. John’s on July 1, 1924 to dedicate the National War Memorial.

Riche says the play was inspired by a photograph of the day of the dedication of the National War Memorial in St. John’s.

“The whole country showed up on that day,” said Riche. “Everyone walks by that monument all the time without probably giving it as much thought as it’s due.”

Allison Kelly plays Geraldine Drover, a local journalist whose interview with Haig sparks debate about the causes of the First World War and its consequences.

The play reflects on Newfoundland’s involvement in the First World War and the political climate in St. John’s during the dedication of the National War Memorial.

With recent protests over statues and monuments commemorating contentious historical events, there is a modern interest surrounding the role of monuments in educating the public.

“The themes of the play have more resonance now than when the writing began. It was always meant to be about more than the war and the memorial — it was about ‘the modern.’ We never knew it would be about our times,” Riche said.

“Dedication” will be staged Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 14-18 at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Nov. 12 and 19. There will be no performance on Monday, Nov. 13.

For more information and tickets visit http://rca.nf.ca/event/dedication-2/.

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