If your walking anywhere near the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield on October 18 and you hear the air raid sirens followed by the air raid warden shouting ‘Put that light out’, don’t panic Mr Mainwaring – it’s just Groovy Gazza Productions with their award-winning show A Salute to the 1940s paying a visit.
Gary Birtles and Lorrie Brown, who are the producers of the show, have been touring the UK for the last seven years. In that time they have appeared in theatres and 1940s events all over the country including the re-opening of the Ramsgate Tunnels which were used to shelter the local population during the Blitz.
“It was amazing we were performing deep inside the tunnels where people actually used to live during the war,” said Gary.
Lorrie has been performing a tribute to Dame Vera Lynn for 21 years and won a national award as the UK No.1 Vera Lynn tribute. Dame Vera heard about the award and invited Lorrie to her home to meet her.
Lorrie said, “After months of planning, myself and Gary went to meet her in her home and spent three hours chatting to her and her daughter Virginia. I was like an excited schoolgirl. We talked about her time entertaining the troops all around the world and especially her time in Burma where she sang in the same harsh conditions that the troops had to live in.
“It was a truly magical time and both Virginia and Dame Vera were the perfect hosts and made us so welcome.
“We presented her with a book of messages from her many fans in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire who remembered her during the war. There were a lot of very touching messages and she was overwhelmed by them.”
Performing alongside Lorrie’s Vera Lynn tribute, will be tributes to George Formby, The Andrews Sisters, Gracie Fields and G.I Frank Sinatra who will sing a few of the big band classics made famous by Glenn Miller and his orchestra.
Gary will be keeping everyone in line as the Air Raid Warden. The show will also pay tribute to the acts from WW1 featuring Marie Lloyd and Harry Lauder
“The stage will be decorated with flags, bunting, posters and webbing, so you will get the feeling you’ve travelled back to a 1940s air raid shelter as soon as you walk in,” said Gary.
The show starts at 2pm on October 18. Tickets for the show are available at the box office on 01246 345 222 or from http://www.chesterfield theatres.co.uk More details about the show can be found on the web site at http://www.veralynntribute.eu