Entertainment

Edinburgh Fringe Show Highlights Role Of WWII Female Pilots

The play follows one pilot who suffered from Alzheimer's.

A one-woman show at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival is highlighting the role female pilots played during the Second World War.

Ivory Wings follows the story of Virginia, a retired female pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, and looks back on her time in the service.

Susie Coreth, who plays the main character, says the group took on an "extraordinary feat":

"The Air Transport Auxiliary were a group of incredible people of 168 women who delivered the war aircraft to and from the factory bases in World War Two."

"They had to tackle everything," she added.

Ms Coreth said she wanted the performance to portray their "bravery" and hoped the show would tell the "world what they did because no one knows about them".

Ivory Wings play at Edinburgh Fringe Festival showing Female Pilot and use of music for alzheimers Credit BFBS 130819
Music is used to unlock Virginia's memories.

The play shows Virginia in her later years, struggling with Alzheimer's.

A live piano on stage is used to trigger the characters memories of her time in the Air Transport Auxiliary when flying a Spitfire.

Anna Corethm the pianist for the play, said they wanted to show "how music therapy can be used and is being used for Alzheimer patients".

Many of the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary became celebrities at the time.

Given the name 'Attagirls', pilots like Commander Pauline Gower and First Officer Maureen Dunlop were trailblazers during the war.

Ms Coreth said she wanted to show that, despite having Alzheimer's, her character Virginia still had "that spark" and "determination" but also "frustration at the world" because she wanted to fly her Spitfire but could not.