NO Man’s Land, a play inspired by the First World War, will continue its tour of Lancs at the Blackburn Empire.

Produced by Clitheroe-based Ribcaged Productions, the play tells the true story of a women’s football team – Dick Kerr Ladies – who formed during the Great War to raise money to help injured servicemen.

Ribble Valley actress Siri Ellis, who plays the part of Grace Sibbert, said: “Dick Kerr Ladies is an amazing tale, familiar to some, but totally unknown to others.

“My character’s story reflects the situation for many women at the time – her husband was away fighting and taken prisoner.

“For her, the football team is a way to throw herself into something to take away the pain of not knowing if he is alive or dead.

“Each character in No Man’s Land has their own story, each affected by the war in different ways and offers a fascinating perspective on the home front.”

Dick Kerr Ladies achieved incredible success, winning games nationally and internationally, often in front of thousands of fans as their fame spread worldwide.

“These women were strong and talented and the war offered them a chance to show it,” added Siri.

“They had a lot of support for their playing, both because of their skill and also the huge amounts they raised for charity.

“Of course, some were shocked at women wearing shorts, but others, including newspapers at the time, championed their abilities.”

Nearly a million women worked in munitions factories, such as Dick Kerr and Company in Preston, where the women played football in their lunch breaks. In 1921, The Football Association banned the women from playing on their grounds.

“Imagine what women’s sport could have developed into if they had allowed it to continue, alongside men’s football.”

The Dick Kerr Ladies were not to fade away meekly though and continued playing, even travelling to America.

Written and produced by Steph McKervill, who also stars in the play, No Man’s Land premiered at last month’s Cloudspotting Arts Festival in the Ribble Valley.

“It was outdoors, and it rained all the way through the play,” said Siri.

“We brought the audience right in front of the stage for shelter and it was a very close up performance and special because of that.

“It is a testament to the play and the brilliant crowd that they all stayed watching to the end despite the dreadful weather.”

Dick Kerr Ladies, Blackburn Empire Theatre, September 25-27. Box Office 01254 685500.