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Posted: 04/07/2014

Young actor meets Harvey Family!

By: Francesca Goddard Tags: Will Harvey's War Gloucestershire Remembers WW1

Press Release - 4th July 2014

It’s a rare treat for actors to meet the people or descendents of the characters they are playing. But that’s what happened to 12 year old Benjamin Crossley last week when he met the daughter and granddaughter of local World War One poet and writer, F.W. Harvey.

Ben from Cheltenham, was picked from an open audition to star as the young Harvey in the Everyman Theatre’s World War One play Will Harvey’s War, based on the war-time experiences of the Gloucestershire Laureate.

Ben, along with Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter DBE, was taking part in a concert in memory of Frederick William Harvey. The evening, organised by the F.W. Harvey Society was a celebration in music, song and verse of the life of the Gloucestershire poet and writer and took place at Gloucester Cathedral. Guests of Honour were Harvey’s 93-year old daughter Eileen Griffiths and granddaughter Elaine Jackson and Ben lost no time in chatting to Harvey’s relatives to learn more about the character he is to play.

Born in Gloucestershire in 1888, F. W. Harvey (known as ‘Will’ to family and friends) became one of England’s most popular war poets. To mark the centenary of World War One, the Everyman has dramatised Harvey’s lost and hitherto unpublished novel Will Harvey’s War. The play has been specially adapted and is directed by the Everyman’s Creative Director Paul Milton and receives its world premiere at the end of this month (30th July – 2nd August). The production marks the official launch of Gloucestershire Remembers World War One, an exciting programme of work presented by the Everyman Theatre, The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, The History Press, Gloucestershire Archives and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, which will reach out to schools and communities throughout the county.

Fiona Spiers, the Everyman’s Fundraiser commented: “This exciting project has been kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and BPE. The Everyman is very proud to be presenting this play and leading the Gloucestershire Remembers WW1 partnership. We hope as many people as possible will engage with the project and use the resources the partners have developed.”

Ben, a pupil at Dean Close School, is currently in rehearsal for the play which opens on 30th July. To book tickets call the Box Office on 01242 572573.

For more information and to request interviews and review tickets, call Francesca Goddard or Jackie McKenzie on 01242 236700 or email or

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