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Local Production To Tell Stories Of Tragedy And Triumph From Second World War November 7, 2006 Article in The Vanguard (Yarmouth NS) By Tina Comeau Michael Gorman photo As she sat in the audience watching the young people perform on stage, Lindsay Buchanan grasped her cousin’s hand. Her emotions were all over the map, ranging from happy to sad, from wonderful to surreal. It was definitely worth the trip she had made from Spain to Truro, Nova Scotia to sit through a war musical being presented by 440 Productions of Yarmouth. Unfolding in front of her was the story of her parents. “I think what they are doing, and have done in the past, is absolutely marvelous and must make the veterans feel so special, not forgotten,” says Buchanan. “The cast are fabulous, so full of energy and obviously love doing the shows,” she adds. “They put on a very professional performance, full of vitality, comedy and, at the same time, sensitivity and consideration of the stories they were telling.” 440 Productions has been touring with their latest Time to Remember production, entitled Tragedy and Triumph, Memories of World War II. The group will present its show to audiences in Yarmouth at Th’YARC on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Th’YARC for $15. One of the stories that will be told is the tale of Kenneth Buchanan and Gwen Wood who met, fell in love, got married and had a child, but never got the chance to live happily ever after. These are Lindsay Buchanan’s parents. “About two months ago I saw an article on a website about a Canadian soldier,” explains 440 Productions director George Egan. “I wrote to his wife, who is 88, and her daughter (Lindsay Buchanan) happened to be there the day the letter arrived. She got in touch with me and we put the whole story of their wartime experience together and we presented that in Truro.” Kenneth Buchanan’ had been from Truro before going to England and eventually finding himself fighting in the Second World War. While away at war he wrote many letters, whom his daughter shared with 440 Productions. But Buchanan never came home after the Second World War ended. “The next night after the war ends a group of them are sitting around, they’re cleaning their rifles, his best buddy is sitting next to him,” says Egan. “The gun goes off. He dies about 20 minutes later. “When the war ended everyone back in England was excited and Gwen was waiting on news from Kenneth and it doesn’t come for 10 days, which is when she gets the letter,” says Egan. “All of the plans they had made…just gone.” Lindsay and her mother eventually came to live in Truro for a while. Another story 440 Productions tells is about Lindsay attending school. She’s about 12, sitting at a desk, and when she looks over at the next desk there is a familiar name engraved on its wooden surface – Kenneth Buchanan. Yarmouth resident Rebecca Rideout portrays Buchanan’s mother in the show. “It was really sweet having her there, says Rideout. “After the show she said thank you, that was very important for me.” Cast member Ashley Goodwin remembers catching a glimpse of Buchanan’s reaction during the show. “You could see the hands coming up to her face, she was starting to cry and it was hard to watch, it was extremely emotional,” she says. When 440 Productions takes their show to England next spring, both mother and daughter will be in the audience. This is just one of many stories told in the production. Aside from stories about specific individuals, a lot of the show includes stories that connect Yarmouth to the war. Egan admits he is bothered that more people, particularly young people, don’t realize the role Yarmouth had during the war, that many of them have never heard of East Camp or West Camp. “This show is tribute to those who participated in the war, which is what the intent of it is, but beyond that it’s also a form of education for any age,” says Egan. “Hopefully we’ll get a good cross section of the public.”
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Local Production To Tell Stories Of Tragedy And Triumph From Second World War November 7, 2006
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Lindsay Buchanan with Rebecca Rideout