YORK Theatre Royal has had a very full diary this autumn, accommodating, for example, the annual TakeOver Festival and two new additions, The Lakes Season with Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake and the Visionari’s debut programme of Studio Discoveries shows.

The Visionari might sound like a religious sect from a Dan Brown novel, but instead it is a disparate group of people from the York community who had never met before, joining together a year ago to meet regularly to have an impact on the Theatre Royal’s programming and activities.

The most tangible result so far was the Studio Discoveries series of short plays, selected from scripts of new works sent for possible inclusion.

Fun In The Oven Theatre’s Canary was one such piece: the third in recent times to feature women who stepped into the breach at munitions factories and turned “canary” yellow through contact with TNT, after York Shakespeare Project’s reinvention of Henry V and Alice Nutter’s Barnbow Canaries at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

This time, the scale was more Fringe than epic political drama, as actor-musician Katie Tranter, performance artist Robyn Hambrook and dance and theatre artist Alys North played factory workers Agnes, Anne and Betty, under Andrea Jimenez’s fast-paced direction.

Lawrence Neale presents the one male counterpoint, one of those perky newsreel voiceover voices designed to keep spirits up, when they really want to hear from their men who went to the front.

Or do they, because the Canary Girls sing of not missing them. The tone is uneven; sometimes humorous, other times fearful when explosions crash above them or letters arrive, and suddenly heading off into the hallucinatory when they ingest cordite. Ultimately, Canary is full of heart, female bonding, social politics and camaraderie.