The Three Wee Crows Theatre Company brought some of the sobering stories of the impact at home of the First World War to Mount Stuart on Saturday.
‘Home Fires, Broken Sons’ was an intricate tapestry of tales of relatively normal domestic life on the home front – many of them actual events drawn from newspaper articles, books and memories - and the stark contrast of life at the battle front and in the trenches.
Themes explored by the work included the spirit and humour of communities, despite their isolation from the war, trying to continue as normal and finding ways to support the war effort; families coming to terms with the loss of loved ones; and the vital role played by auxiliary hospitals and convalescent homes such as Mount Stuart itself.
The powerful production was given added potency by the venue for Saturday’s performance - the Marble Hall at Mount Stuart, where some 50 beds for injured soldiers were set up as part of the naval auxiliary hospital established at the house by Augusta Crichton-Stuart, wife of the fourth Marquess of Bute, in 1915.
‘Home Fires, Broken Sons’, staged with financial support from Argyll and Bute Council, will be performed in Campbeltown on April 23, Helensburgh on May 15 and at Pollok House in Glasgow on May 21 and 22, as well as in Kinlochleven in Lochaber in August.