EdwardianFirst World WarGreat WarMusic HallPerformancesWorkshops

WW1 music workshop at Hinchingbrooke House

Sharona Joshua & María Hutchison in performance at Hinchingbrooke House, August 2014
Sharona Joshua & María Hutchison in performance at Hinchingbrooke House, August 2014

Radio Days Music had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the excellent commemorative event, ‘The Last Day of Peace’ at Hinchingbrooke House, Huntingdon on Sunday 3 August, under the auspices of Cambridgeshire County Council.

As part of a full day of re-enactment activities, performances, demonstrations, and exhibitions, the Radio Days team (Maria Hutchison, Christopher Hutchison, and Sharona Joshua) enchanted audiences with their successful music-cum-social history workshop, “Sing WW1 Music Hall”, that through song and audience engagement recreated the Music Hall of the Great War era, with participants encouraged to interact and sing along with us just as music-hall audiences of the time would have expected to do.

Illustrated with a well-chosen small selection from among the corpus of more than 3000 songs performed and recorded during the Great War years, Radio Days explored aspects of the social, cultural, and political history of the time–from the significance of Herbert Asquith’s nickname to the origins of the ‘billycock’ hat–through which the audience learned something of the social and cultural importance of Music Hall as the paramount form of entertainment as well as about how social understandings were mirrored in the recruitment songs, the anti-war songs, songs as a vehicle for social commentary, and soldiers’ songs of those turbulent years.

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