Why is the play called Stepdaughters?
Just after the end of the war a journalist called Helen Smith wrote a book about the ambulance drivers called Not So Quiet... Stepdaughters of War.
Mary Baxter Ellis was born in Gosforth and drove an ambulance on the front line in Belgium during World War One. Ida Smith was born in Scotswood, and worked in the munitions factory of Armstrong-Whitworth during World War One.
During the war Armstrong-Whitworth had factories on Scotswood Road that employed women to build munitions. The company also made ships, planes and cars and a number of these cars were converted into ambulances and donated to the war effort.
Miss Baxter Ellis was given one of these ambulances by The Elswick and Scotswood Workers War Relief Fund, a charitable organisation that collected gifts and donations form the workers of Armstrong-Whitworth.
Stepdaughters is a fictionalized account of Mary's life. Events like those described did happen, we do not know if they happened to Mary.
Cast & Crew
Mary - Cat Lewis
Ida - Katie Mclaren
Writer - Mandy Pallister
Director - Grace Dickson
Production Assistant / Director - Alanna Wilson
Company Manager / Ambulance Designer - Amy Keirl
As part of the process we converted a ex-MOD Land Rover into a replica of what a WW1 ambulance would look like inside.
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