“We’ll Meet Again” opens at Milnerton Playhouse

After the ravages of COVID and the struggles of all theatres to remain in business, the show We’ll Meet Again has perhaps even more relevance since it was first performed as a tribute to the songs made popular during World War ll. Running from 13 May to 28 May at Milnerton Playhouse, this multi-media production is directed by Barry Altwig with musical direction by Tersia Harley. This is a musical play that will give you goose bumps, have you singing along, tapping your feet and remind us of the power of entertainment during times of strife. It is a joyful celebration of triumph during the toughest times.
 
Many of our parents and grandparents would tune into the radio long after the war ended to enjoy again and again the golden voice of forces favourite Vera Lynn and the songs that kept our boys going. ‘We’ll Meet Again, ‘Pack up your troubles’, A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square’ ‘I’ll be seeing you’ and so many more that even today are recognizable by every generation.

We’ll Meet Again is a nostalgic journey through the events of World War ll.  From the chimes of Big Ben and the announcement that Britain was at war, our journalist narrator (Chris Doran) brings the war years to life again. Movie clips from the war years serve to add even more credence to this production. Vera Lynn (Rozelle Wilken) beautifully sings those legendary songs as the audience is transported to another era. There’s humour and pathos as we enjoy the  fortitude of  the soldiers (Sergeant: Christoff van Wyk; Soldiers: Chad Emslie, Tyron Lundy, Jaco Brewis, Geoffrey de Vartek, Tejan Boolah and Avinav Lundy) and cameos from the Lady in White (Lianne Lembeck) Marlene Dietrich (Petra Baker) and the ENSA compere (Richard Wade) sweep you along.  Chronicling the involvement of South African troops, such landmark events as the Battle of Britain, El Alamein, Dunkirk and D-Day, it is a testament to the uplifting and continuous support of entertainers. It pays a simple, honest and splendid tribute to the men and women who fought for the process of democracy during the six long years of conflict. 
The set by Barry Altwig is skillfully designed to create the 1940s atmosphere and the live onstage band: piano: Tersia Harley, upright bass: Basil Heald and drums: Johann Rossouw,  provides a fitting backing to the singers. Lighting, sound & video: Barry Strick and stage management: Coleen Tapson. 
 
The musical production, originally devised and produced by Richard Loring, was performed at ‘Soundstage’ in Midrand  from 1989 and ran for five years around the country with iconic performers Dianne Chandler and John Lesley in the leading roles.  Loring describes it as a show that “puts a tear in your eye, and a song in your heart”! Many of the songs are uplifting and stirring, serving as an encouragement to those involved in the war.
 
It is important to note that 10% of all ticket sales will be donated to the Theatre Benevolent Fund, established by Richard Loring to assist any workers in the entertainment industry in times of need, because of illness, or an unexpected event which prevents them from earning. Very appropriate in these COVID times. It is a non-profit organization that relies entirely on donations and fund raising events.
This is the perfect opportunity to make a date night is our special dinner and show deal of R200 per person that is being offered with Woodbridge Island restaurant Beach Blanc throughout the run.
COVID interrupted our original run, planned for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in May 2020, but Milnerton Players are proud to now be able to present ‘We’ll Meet Again in the month of the  77thanniversary with all COVID protocols strictly adhered to.


Booking for the show and dinner/show is on www.milnertonplayers.co.za/bookings/ or on Quicket.  
Details:   Evenings at 8pm:  13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28: prices- Standard R150, Senior R140, Member/student R130; Matinees at 2:30pm 14, 21 and 28th Standard 140, Senior R130, Member/student R120
Dinner and Show package R200 per person.
Milnerton Playhouse, Pienaar Road, (behind the library) Milnerton 7441

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