We’ll Meet Again – a look back at Sidmouth’s memorable war nostalgia production
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:25 11 May 2020
As Sidmouth commemorates the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Herald looks back at a production by Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society (SADS) 15 years ago, marking 60 years since the end of World War Two.
We’ll Meet Again was compiled and directed by Pamela Harrison.
It featured sketches written by her husband David, some based on local wartime events, music and poetry from the wartime years, old film footage including scenes from Hitler’s rallies, and photographs supplied by local historian John Ankins and Sidmouth Museum.
The show played to enthusiastic audiences when it was staged in June 2005.
Mrs Harrison said: “Celia Monck directed the music with John Griswold, and Donna Heard devised wonderful evocative choreography.
“Tony Hill, head of sound and lighting, wasn’t at all phased to be asked to produce the sound and film of a bomber coming out of backstage straight at the audience, as Celia Monck and Chris Wale sang Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer - some of the audience even ducked.
“SADS even did a sketch from ITMA,” (It’s That Man Again, the war’s top comedy programme).
“I was very blessed that the town got behind their show - in fact the audiences were such that we had to put on extra performances.
“All the various skills involved in theatre — costumes, sets, lighting, sound, music, dance etcetera - were being utilised, and they achieved their aim because on performance nights audiences were quiet, they laughed and they cried, and they sang their hearts out.
“They all waved their Union Jacks and left the Manor Pavilion Theatre extremely thankful to be in Great Britain.”
A charity performance of We’ll Meet Again, with the help of Sidmouth Lions Club, raised £1,150 for St Dunstan’s (now Blind Veterans), and the Lions also raised £400 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Mrs Harrison said: “The production represented memories and gratitude to those who served both abroad and at home.
“Today memories of the war, the suffering and sacrifice, do help at this terrible time of coronavirus to give us hope and perspective and appreciate the sacrifice of all the care worker doctors, nurses, refuse collectors, shop owners and workers - in fact all our lovely local people who are trying so hard in really difficult and frightening circumstances.”
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