A Performance For Wilfred Owen 4/11/18
On Sunday 4th November 2018, exactly one hundred years after the death of the poet Wilfred Owen, The Choral Engineers - Torbay’s creative community choir - will perform a sequence of new songs at All Saints Church in Torre.
Wilfred Owen had connections with Torquay and prior to WW1 used to come and stay with his aunt and uncle who ran a bookshop at 264 Union Street, now ‘Brides at Waterfields’. He went on pilgrimages to Keat’s House in Teignmouth (where one hundred years earlier, in 1818, Keats wrote part of his epic poem Endymion). We will make other ’18 connections with war and peace, including poems by Sir Walter Raleigh (born in Devon) who was executed on 29th October 1618. There will be songs by poet/composer Ivor Gurney, the anti-war novelist Kurt Vonnegut and a new song setting words by Alberta VickrIdge, who worked as a nurse with Agatha Christie at Torquay’s Town Hall when it was a hospital during WW1. The performance will take place in All Saints Church where Agatha Christie was baptised.
The day will begin with an optional pilgrimage from Keats’ House in Northumberland Place, Teignmouth at 11.04am, and continue by train to Torre, where we will process past the bridal shop to the Noble Tree Cafe where we will hear songs and drink soup (at 1pm) and then on through Victoria Park, past the Quaker meeting house and the Soroptimist society, finally ending at All Saints Church for a 3pm seated performance.
The day will also feature special guest performers including Peter Spafford, Sara Hurley, Tony Lidington (aka Uncle Tacko), Kevin Dixon, Chris Nankivell and Dave Bowie Junior.
The Choral Engineers are a joyously experimental choir based at Torre Abbey (every Friday morning 10.30-12.30 - all welcome) who were formed to create a shamanic pantomime about the life of local eccentric scientist/engineer Oliver Heaviside and have subsequently formed the choir for a Geological Opera for UNESCO, performed with members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the opening of the South Devon Highway and are 2/3rds of the way through a Triptych about Brexit which will culminate on 29th March 2019. They are led by composers and film-makers Hugh Nankivell and Steve Sowden.