WE'LL MEET AGAIN
Billericay Operatic Society at Brentwood Theatre
A broad enough target, World War II.
Billericay Operatic still aimed pretty wide in the “nostalgic journey”, from Rule Britannia  to a number from a musical about the American Civil War . And in between, Marie Lloyd and any amount of stuff from the Great War.
It's not as if there's a shortage of material. We had the Forces' Sweetheart in White Cliffs and We'll Meet Again, both beautifully sung. But where was her naughty sister-in-arms, Florence Desmond, to show us The Deepest Shelter in Town ? We had the kids Swinging On A Star, but how about at least one of the rude songs they would have been singing about Hitler ?
Admittedly there's no equivalent of Oh What A Lovely War for the Second World War, but Happy As A Sandbag might have been plundered instead of Cowardy Custard, maybe.
Though it would have been good to have more narrative drive, like the telling moment when the boys came running home from war, there was much to enjoy in this jingoistic concert party: the Stateside medley that began Act Two, Albert Evacuated, the women blending Siegfried Line and Run Rabbit, and a new number to me, If I Had Lots of Coupons.
Much of the contemporary verse was little better than doggerel, though I Left My Heart In An English Garden made an effective scene setter, even though it first saw the light five years after the blackout ended …
We'll Meet Again was devised and directed by Wayne Carpenter, with Derrick Thompson at the keyboard.