Langtoft Players presents:
Blitz! is a musical by Lionel Bart. Set in the East End of London during the Blitz (the aerial bombings during World War II). The story drew on Bart’s childhood memories of London’s Jewish East End during the Blitz and, like most musicals, centred on a romance between a young couple, in this case a Jewish woman and a Cockney man, although the largest role and main point-of-view character is that of Mrs. Blitztein, the young woman’s mother. Bart himself described the play as “…three human stories inside an epic canvas; the major human conflict—the major plot—personifies the spirit of London and how that spirit developed during the period of the piece.
This was a fabulous show to rehearse and perform and has been nominated for a NODA award in June 2016.
Report received from NODA about this show:-
Whilst already beginning to achieve success with his musical “Oliver” playing at the New Theatre Lionel Bart’s “Blitz” opened at the Adelphi in 1962. With two shows appearing in the West End at the same time Bart appeared to have made it but “Blitz”, which enjoyed a run of over 500 performances, has never gone on to be as popular as “Oliver”, possibly because it was not seen as a suitable show for transfer to Broadway or become the subject of a film. However, with the passage of time and the appeal of Bart’s amazing talent for song writing, this show has the potential to become first class entertainment, as was the case in this amazing production. The story, which Bart based on his childhood experiences, tells how residents in the London’s East End coped with the sustained bombing campaign carried out by the Germans during the Second World War. This musical contains many wonderful songs including ‘The day after tomorrow’(specially written for Vera Lynne), ‘We’re going to the country’, ‘So tell me Jack’, ‘Mums and Dads’, ‘Petticoat Lane’ and ‘ Far Away’, just to name a few. The focus is on two feuding families, the Jewish Blitzsteins and the Cockney Lockes. Whilst Mrs Blitzstein (Gaynor Hannen) and Alfred Locke (Brian Branch) can’t even bear to speak to each other, Carol Blitzstein (Rosie King) and Georgie Locke (Harry Finlay) are in love. The complexity of this situation is brilliantly exemplified in the lyrics of the song ‘Tell Him, Tell Her’. All the principals were well cast and delivered extremely good characterisation; needless to say, true love wins in the end. There were many scene changes which were all quietly and efficiently handled by a competent stage crew; with such a large cast the logistics of moving so many people on and off stage were superbly organised. Sound, lighting and visual effects made significant contributions to this show. The costumes and make-up were of the relevant period and most appropriate for the different characters. What made this production so outstanding was the singing – it was inspired; the soloists, chorus and children are to be congratulated for their vocal contributions very skilfully directed by Andrew Clingo.