New play centres on Arch of Remembrance in Leicesters Victoria Park

A play written, produced and performed by Leicester students will premiere at the Y theatre in Leicester on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 July.

The Finest Ruin tells two stories: the conception of the Arch of Remembrance in Leicester’s Victoria Park, and the friendship forged between Asha and Betty, two very different women who discover the Arch connects them more than they could have imagined.

Produced for the Leicester City Council ‘Story of Parks’ project, the play is about the memories created and preserved in the city’s parks and monuments, and how we shape our buildings as much as they shape us.

Ivo de Jager, a third year History student at the University of Leicester and writer of the play, said: “Writing The Finest Ruin has been a great experience. I did a lot of research on the history of Leicester and the life of Sir Edwin Lutyens, to ensure the play is accurate and infuse it with life.

“The story’s themes are especially relevant in our current climate: memory and how we want to be remembered, community history, and the scars of war. I’m an immigrant in this country, and I felt it was important to include Leicester’s cultural diversity in a story that is so much about its identity."

The play uses materials from the East Midlands Oral History Archive and the ‘Story of Parks’ project in which six University of Leicester History students worked with local community groups to develop a series of podcasts.

You can catch The Finest Ruin at the Y Theatre, 7 East St, Leicester at 7.30pm on Thursday 28 July, 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday 29 July.

Tickets are free to book, but donations are welcome after the play.