Keep The Home Fires Burning was Lennox Productions' eighth musical at the Queen's Theatre, following in the footsteps of Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof and Honk!
The audience joined our talented cast for this special celebration show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, and to remember those who gave their lives for our country. As the audience entered the theatre, they were given a Union Jack flag and encouraged to join in throughout the show by singing along and waving their flags with pride. It was a show to commemorate the past and celebrate the future, and for many of the older audience members, a chance to remember loved ones lost.
About The Show...
Keep The Home Fires Burning was a review show that told the stories of towns and families from Europe and America during the Second World War. It showcased war songs, show tunes, comedy and comic sketches including We'll Meet Again', 'Pack Up Your Troubles', 'Run Rabbit' and 'Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler'.
Whilst most of the songs were from the war era, the show also incorporated a selection of songs from shows and films that were also around during the 1930s and 1940s including 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', 'Oklahoma' and 'Me and My Girl'. The show was devised by David Macklin many years ago and we would like to thank him sincerely for allowing us to tell this heartfelt story. A full song and sketch list is below.
The show is performed by a large amateur cast made up of volunteers from the local community. The cast ages range from 4 years old to 74 years old, but everyone, of every age, has put in maximum effort to learn the songs and dances, and deliver a fantastic performance. The dedicated production team also volunteer their time to ensure a high quality show every time.
There are many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes for 10 months to make sure our shows are at the same high standard year after year. Thank you to everybody who dedicated time, money and skills to making this show the success that it was.
Thank you to the adult cast for their hard work and patience, and the younger cast for their impeccable behaviour - and for being so patient with the adults! Thank you especially to Gill Horne and Crownfield Junior School for letting the cast take over the school hall 2-3 times each week to rehearse.
The show would never have been possible without the wonderful production team so; thank you to Gemma Fitzmaurice for the many hours she has dedicated to making this show a success, to Rachel Watson for her inspired choreography, to Natalie Thurlow for her musical talent and to Liz Gibson and Allen Clark for their visionary direction, commitment and patience.
Finally, thank you to everyone who came to see the show and supported Lennox Productions and Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.
The Hummingbirds are a 1930s and 1940s close harmony trio, singing notalgic songs in the style of The Andrews Sisters. They kicked off our show week with a fabulous performance in the theatre foyer on Tuesday 12th May 2015. The Hummingbirds, Cathy Edkins, Jenny Ewington and Jill Luff are all trained singers from Essex. Thank you to The Hummingbirds and everyone who came to see them.
The following photos were taken and edited by Cameron Baxter during the dress rehearsal. Thank you very much to Cameron for volunteering his time and skills!
Hornchurch Life said "There was a very large age range and having the children involved really showed how the war affected everyone in so many different ways... Some of my favourite parts of the night included their renditions of ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’... it is a night of memories and celebration... I highly recommend you go and see it before it closes".
An audience member put a photo on Facebook with the caption "Auntie Elsie at 94 after seeing a matinee performance of Keep the Home Fires Burning for Lennox Childrens Cancer charity at Hornchurch Queen's Theatre - laughing, crying, reminiscing and flag waving....great show!"
You can read the full review on their website: http://www.hornchurchlife.co.uk/arts/theatre/theatre-reviews/review-of-keep-the-fire-burning-at-the-queens-theatre/
Songs and Sketches...
Thank you to The Bank of Nova Scotia and it’s staff, who are pleased to support Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund. ‘We wish you every success with the show!’
Pearly Queen costume - sponsored by Sue Crossman of Rise Park, Romford
Fran & Etti’s 1940’s costumes - sponsored by G & V Fitzmaurice
‘Have a great show girls’ love Mummy and Daddy xx
Jane Lloyd’s costumes - sponsored by the Lloyd family
Pearly King costume - sponsored by Jean Saunders of Rainham
‘Happy to support the Lennox’
Jena Webb’s costume - sponsored by Fleur Webb
‘Good Luck Jena, our darling, you are having a ball. Lots of Love of love Mum & Kaci xx'
John Little’s costumes - sponsored by Mrs Joan Little of Hornchurch
Child’s 1940’s costume - sponsored by Jan Hartley
‘Well done to all the children in the show, you are all stars’
Henry’s costume - sponsored by Liza
'with love xx'
Bumble Bee costume - sponsored by Mr & Mrs D Neagle of Upminster
Ray Bocking’s costume - sponsored by R Bocking
To everyone who sponsored a costume, raised money and made donations, thank you very much for your kind support.
Sophie Anne Darby
Assistant Stage Manager
Hair and Make Up
Event Sound & Light
The Queen's Theatre