Band leader Betty is in trouble. Her glamorous band has finally landed a big-time BBC performance on the wireless, but various illicit liaisons with the Yanks have depleted their ranks.
In double quick time, remaining bandmates recruit new talent! Enter a draft dodging drummer who is unafraid to don a frock, a nun who plays a mean ukulele, an innocent schoolgirl clarinetist and a rather snooty soldier saxophonist. Will Betty and her assorted crew give the performance of their lives?
Based on the BAFTA winning TV film starring Judi Dench, this show is guaranteed to raise your spirits with stunning, live vocal and musical performances of hits by Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, George Formby, Fats Waller and more, with all the glitz and sparkle of a gone but not forgotten era.
“Boasts sharp humour and GORGEOUS MUSIC"Stage
“a show to FALL IN LOVE with”Wee Review
“LITTLE SMASHER of a play… laced with a love for its era”Herald
"Short, snappy, MUSICALLY PERFECT... Great stuff!"Courier
“Sung with real passion… IMMENSELY MOVING”Scotsman
Director Ben Occhipinti
Set and Costume Designer Liz Cooke
Lighting Designer Rory Beaton
Musical Director and Arranger Rob Hiley
Sound Designer Chloe Dougan
Stage Manager Kate Schofield
Deputy Stage Manager (book) Heather Saunderson
Assistant Stage Manager Lily Howarth
Born in Jarrow, brought up in Hull, and trained as an architect in Newcastle, he became a full-time writer in 1961. When he died in 2010 he had almost three hundred assorted credits in radio, television, theatre and films - plus six novels, occasional journalism, broadcasting and teaching.
His first plays were written for radio. His television career began with a string of single plays, as well as contributions to the pioneering Z Cars series. Subsequent work included Barchester Chronicles, The Beiderbecke Trilogy, Fortunes Of War, A Very British Coup, The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells and Lewis.
His last work was an original TV film for ITV, entitled Joe Maddison’s War, starring Robson Green and Kevin Whately.
His extensive list of plays for the theatre includes: Shooting The Legend, at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle; Peggy For You at London’s Hampstead Theatre and in the West End; a succession of plays for Newcastle’s Live Theatre; Confessions Of A City Supporter for Hull Truck; Blonde Bombshells Of 1943, first for West Yorkshire Playhouse and later in a revised version for Hampstead Theatre/Bolton Octagon co-production; Sweet William, a comedy about Shakespeare and his pals, for the Northern Broadsides company.
His first film for the big screen was The Virgin And The Gypsy, from D. H. Lawrence’s novel.
He has won Awards from, among others, BAFTA, the Broadcasting Press Guild and the Royal Television Society - plus an International Emmy (USA), the Golden Fleece of Georgia (USSR) the Grand Prix of the Banff Festival (Canada) and the Screenwriting Award of the Biarritz Festival. He won the inaugural 1983 Sony Radio Award; the BAFTA Dennis Potter Award in 2005 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writers Guild of Great Britain in 2007.
He was President of the Writers’ Guild from 1991-1995. He had honorary degrees from the University of Hull, the University of Northumbria, the Open University and the University of Newcastle, and was given a CBE in the 2005 New Year’s Honours list.
The BFI held a retrospective of Alan’s work in 2011. Sam West directed a revival of Close The Coalhouse Door for Live Theatre and Northern Stage in 2012.
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