Dear Lucy...

Carrie Bird
Flying High Theatre Company
theSpace @ Niddry St
to

It can be oft said of the Fringe that there is no shortage of plays set during the Great War, but few enough of them deal with the suffering of those left at home after the war has ended.

Flying High Theatre has opted to begin their play with almost a knowing wink towards this, by opening with the sort of sombre scene that most plays would close upon. Reading from real letters, the audience hears the words of four men writing to the titular Lucy, not all of whom live to see the peacetime.

As this scene ends, so does the war, and the rest of the runtime tells the contining story of the girl as she argues with her family, has fun with friends and weighs up the courtship of another man, with the memory of the one that was lost.

Dear Lucy... is a true labour of love, and a familial creation crafted by the real Lucy's granddaughter, writer-director Carrie Bird, who compiled the piece from family recollection and the many letters that had been stored in a shoebox. This connection is continued with several cast members, as well as the songwriter being Lucy's great grandchildren.

It's still somewhat of a work in progress, as the creators freely admit, as they wish to grow this tale in the telling, and while this means that there is a roughness to the play and the snippets of song and recorded recollections of family, talking about Lucy in her later years, don't knit together as well as they might, the piece nevertheless is a charming and kind tribute to the forgotten sorrows of the War and the quiet scars that often healed in silence.

Graeme Strachan