Rye Players May Production By ‘Playgoer’
To round off the local celebrations of the 60th. Anniversary of VE Day, Rye Players put on an unashamedly nostalgic variety show at the Community Centre from the 19th. – 21st May.
From the moment we entered the hall clutching our combined ticket & programme, cleverly designed as a wartime ration book, we were swept back to the Forties. The bar had the appearance of a canteen with the ladies in splendid wrap round pinnies and turbans, while the raffle prizes included Spam and Camp Coffee, culinary delights of the time. The hall itself was like any village hall at the end of the war, decorated with strings of Union Jacks, flags and red, white and blue flowers in fish paste pots!
Producer Del Smith had put together a programme of songs and anecdotes from 1945 which reflected life in the services (both on active service and retired) and on the home front. There was a music hall representing popular entertainers of the day, most of whom at been out with ENSA to entertain the troops as well as helping to keep up the spirits of their families at home.
The whole was completed with lively dance numbers and victory songs. Some clever revolving scenery helped keep up the pace of the show as one item followed the next in seemingly effortless manner, although I’m sure it must have been a scramble for the cast backs tage to achieve their many changes of costume, which by the way looked very authentic. We sang along with the songs we knew, especially the flag waving finale “Land of Hope and Glory” and most of us were moved, (some to tears) by a few of the songs, in particular “The D Day Dodgers” a bitter response by soldiers in Italy to an ignorant remark by a prominent politician of the day. I felt that the Players had really embraced the wartime spirit, as they all ‘did their bit’ to put on this lively and entertaining show.
“Rye’s Own” July 2005
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