From Heaven to Hell
‘From Heaven to Hell’ returned this year as a two-act play as part of the Greater Manchester Fridge festival. The play is essentially a World War one romance but also honours the sacrifice made by local Salford heroes at the Battle of the Somme. “From Heaven to Hell” went on to be nominated for Best drama at the Manchester Fringe awards. The production also raised over £800 for The British Legion and is set to do the same again this year.
The play starts at the outbreak of World War One and the Army desperately needs more troops. Lord Kitchener encourages men to enlist by creating Pals battalions, guaranteeing if you enlist with your pals you’ll serve with your pals. A group of friends working on the ship canal join throw caution to the wind and enlist together. ‘From Heaven to Hell’ is based on a true story of the 1st Salford Pals and is dedicated to the 24 officers and 650 men from the battalion who fought at the battle of the Somme where more than one million men were wounded or killed. In the first 30 minutes alone, 21 officers and 449 men from the 1st Salford Pals had become casualties.
Writer of the play Danny Clifford said: “I’m excited to bring the play back especially on the centenary year which is such an important year in British history. We produced an excellent one act play last year and I really wanted to build on that. I had a few months away from writing and then eventually came back to the script with fresh eyes. The script has been re written to allow for new characters and scenes but does follow the same story as the original piece. I am overwhelmed and moved by the way the play was received last year and also the generous donations we received throughout the fundraising process. It really honours the level of bravery and loyalty shown by the people of Salford during the First World War. I’m truly grateful that I could pay tribute to them and bring their story to a new generation.”