THE spirit of Londoners at the height of the World War II blitz comes to the fore in a stirring musical at Wanneroo’s Limelight Theatre.
Written by Lionel Bart – best known as composer of Oliver! – and directed by Kinross resident Alan Brock, Blitz! is a musical full of family feuds, fun and forbidden love, nostalgic wartime melodies and rich characters.
The story focuses on the intense mutual dislike of Cockney stallholder Alfred Locke and his neighbouring Jewish trader Mrs Blitztein.
Both are displeased when Mrs Blitztein’s daughter and Alfred’s son fall in love and eventually marry.
Originally staged in 1962, Blitz! was never seen for many years, largely because the original scores went missing.
It was reassembled in Australia by 19-year-old Andrew Jarrett in 1985, leading Bart to come out of obscurity to see the production.
Brock said he was inspired to direct Blitz! because he spent the majority of his school years down in air-raid shelters in World War II.
“I was evacuated out of London after our house was bomb-blasted three times, so I can relate to the storyline,” he said.
“Blitz! is the story of hardships, love and friendships, lifted by more than 25 lively songs, highlighting the resilience of people in the East End and their determination not to have their morale broken.”
The play features a cast of 43, including 14 children.
“For many of them, it’s their first time on stage so there’s a great deal of directing to be done,” Brock said.
When: 8pm, November 24-26, 30, December 1-3, 7-10
Where: Limelight Theatre, Wanneroo
Tickets: $32 or $28 concession at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or on 0499 954 016