Spirit Of The Blitz
- By Elaine Bird
- 27 September 2019
Bringing great songs and stars of the 40s back to life. Princess Theatre, The Green, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 5AH. Wednesday 23 October 2019, 2pm Tickets: £16.50/Concessions £15.50 (Groups: Buy 10 get one free) from the Box Office on 01485 532252 or from princesshunstanton.co.uk
Eighty years on from the outbreak of World War Two, Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre presents a tribute to the legendary stars who kept us smiling through those dark days. Spirit of the Blitz recaptures the defiant optimism of wartime Britain, inviting the audience to sing along with swinging hits like Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree, Bless 'Em All, Leaning On A Lamp-Post, and of course, We'll Meet Again.
Producer Andy Eastwood, who portrays one of the hardest-working entertainers of the era, George Formby, describes the show as a feel-good experience.
“The wonderful thing about Spirit Of The Blitz is that it means so many things to different people. It’s first and foremost a heart-warming, uplifting singalong. They were such awful times that the entertainment had to be bright and breezy and cheerful. But beneath the humour is a subtext of deep human suffering, loss and tragedy, and everyone in that audience will think of loved ones who went through it. It’s as thought-provoking as you want it to be.
“Before very long the war years will no longer be in living memory for a significant number of people, and it’s up to those of us who care, to go on commemorating. Failing to do that is the first step towards history repeating itself.”
Also appearing are singer Maggie O’Hara, who pays tribute to Dame Vera Lynn and Anne Shelton, and multi-talented Pete Lindup, who recreates the comedy of forties favourites Max Miller and Robb Wilton. Pete is looking forward to the show immensely:
“I know that there will be some veterans in the audience, and it’s an honour to entertain them, but it’s also great for younger people to see the lovely warm way that performers charmed an audience back then. Glorious melodies and good old-fashioned comedy – what more could you ask for?”
Andy Eastwood is very familiar with the songs of the war years, having played George Formby in over a thousand performances of the touring show We’ll Meet Again. He was the only musician ever to gain his Oxford degree playing the ukulele, and is one of the world’s foremost exponents of the instrument. He is also a violin virtuoso, as you will see in the show’s tear-jerking finale!
Maggie O’Hara delights with her superb vocal talents, in tributes to the legendary “forces’ sweetheart” Dame Vera Lynn, cheery Lancashire lass Gracie Fields and sultry songstress Anne Shelton. With such versatility it’s no wonder that this lady has forged an award-winning international career in theatre and cabaret.
Pete Lindup, armed with trumpet, trombone, a jazzy suit and a wealth of wit, has worked alongside many of the great names of the variety stage. He will recall the great comedians Max Miller and Robb Wilton amongst others, and is an expert entertainer in true vaudeville style.
A variety show would be incomplete without live music, so the David Carter Band is on hand to accompany the proceedings.