Westland top soil delivers authentic WW1 experience

Westland Horticulture has delivered 1,200 bags of top soil to a theatre, staging a play to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Journey?s End, hailed as one of the greatest war plays ever written, will be performed at The Octagon Theatre in Bolton throughout September and October. Originally on stage in 1928, it follows the lives of soldiers as they battle against the futility of warfare, constant fear and harsh living conditions.

The theatre were keen to emulate the intimacy and authenticity of war conditions on stage and so contacted Westland Horticulture for assistance.

Following a delivery of 1,200 bags of Westland Horticulture Top Soil last week, the theatre team have now filled 700 hessian sandbags, which will be placed around the circumference of the all-round stage. By filling sandbags with sterilised soil, rather than sand, even the scent of the set is emulative of the environment so many men regarded, however briefly, as home.

Olly Seviour, Head of Production at The Octagon Theatre, said: ?The biggest issue we had with the set was sourcing a clean, safe soil that would not pose a hazard to the actors or audience. Westland?s Top Soil is a sterilised graded soil that has an accompanying data sheet to prove that it has undergone rigorous tests to ensure it poses no risk.

?The set design is very dramatic. In an effort to maintain the illusion as much as possible, walkways have been covered in wood, corrugated steel has been positioned around the upper floor balcony and, of course, there?s huge quantities or soil and sandbags. The overall effect is completely engrossing and we?re delighted with how it looks.?

Chris Glynn, Sales Representative for Westland Horticulture, said: ?When we heard about the production we were really keen to get involved. The production company had sampled a variety of soils and were really keen to use our product as its sterilised and has no green waste.

?We were keen to get involved because of the connection with the First World War centenary. We were delighted to help the theatre get the top soil they required to allow the production have as authentic an atmosphere as possible.

?I think it?s safe to say that this is the first time we have delivered top soil to a theatre!?

Journey?s End is at the Octagon until Saturday 4 October 2014. Tickets are from ?26.50 – ?10 on 01204 520661, or at www.octagonbolton.co.uk


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