Energetic Herefordshire drama group Cradley Village Players will be putting women centre stage in an ambitious double-bill that celebrates their courage, confidence and creativity. The shows are at Cradley Primary School during the autumn half term.

In November it will be 100 years since WWI ended and women first got the vote. To commemorate these key anniversaries, the evening opens with a sequence of articles, letters, poems and songs from the period, backed by images which include paintings by female artists. What did you do in the Great War, Mummy? vividly reveals how women not only contributed to the war effort but also continued their campaign for political equality. Among those who risked their lives for their country were the ‘canary girls’ whose skin turned yellow because of the dangerous chemicals they had to use making shells at the munitions works in Rotherwas near Hereford.

The second half also explores women’s lives, but in a less risky environment. The Reading Group, a one-act play by Fay Weldon - best selling author of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and numerous others - is a funny and astutely observed study of sexual politics that centres on an all-female reading group.

Oriole wants to study modern authors while Anne prefers classics. Add in Lesley, a recent divorcee with a penchant for the bottle, viperish stress counsellor Avril and spinsterly pedagogue Zelda and you have a recipe for trouble as the women’s personalities echo those of their literary heroines. But not everyone is there for books as nefarious designs are uncovered and tensions rise to a dramatic climax.

Directed by Mary Fielding, CVP’s autumn double-bill is at Cradley C of E Primary School from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, November 3 at 7.30pm. Tickets available from The Butchery in Cradley, online at cradleyvillageplayers.com and on the door.