Rony Robinson's haunting new play recounts that fatal night
in Coventry's history when its citizens witnessed unparalleled devastation and human
suffering; a landmark event which shaped the future of the city. Robinson has produced a
play which sympathetically explores themes of human suffering and endurance, and triumph
in the face of adversity.
The central character of the play - Mrs Wood - recounts her own very personal story for
a group of local students compiling a video diary of the blitz. Her words in fact, are
those of genuine survivors, interviewed by Robinson as part of his research and as such,
present a true picture of that 'ordinary' day in Wartime Coventry, which ended so brutally
several hours later.
"I thought I knew about the Coventry blitz before I started working on this show.
Yes, it was going to be a very heavy raid, and perhaps Churchill knew and never said. Yes,
the Cathedral was destroyed, and a sizeable part of the town centre industry. And yes, a
lot of people died. And the King stood in the ruins. But Coventry wasn't defeated and
Coventry soon recovered, and became a model for other cities during and after the war.
"What I actually found, listening to the people who'd been through it, was how
ghastly that night was, as Coventry suffered probably the most concentrated attack on any
city in history (up till then). Thousands of people waited in the moonlight to die crazily
and arbitrarily, often in scenes of utter surreal terror. The noise never stopped.
"But there were other things to remember too - the people who helped the dying,
and the living who comforted, and sang. The river of butter and the escaped budgerigars.
And the people who next morning actually climbed out of the ruins to go back to work.
"Our new show tries to remember the blitz properly. But it also remembers that it
all happened years before most Coventrians were even born. Do we need the past? How good
are all our memories? Whose version of the past do we believe anyway? And what does it all
mean now fifty eight years on?
"With a bit of song and dance we hope to find out in a show that is 'Made In
Coventry' from the collective memories of the people of Coventry who lived through that
awful night. And to those who didn't, and never saw the lovely day tomorrow".
Members of the Belgrade Youth Theatre will be accompanied by a professional cast:
- Robert Bladen - Michael
- Anthony Clegg - Sloganeer/Mason
- Corrine Emerson - Mum (Ann)
- Barbara Hill - Mrs Wood
- Clare Humphrey - Marion
- Iain Lauchlan - Dad (Jim)
- Jim Low - Dusty
- Jacinta Nardoni - Gertie
- Mark Roper - Spud
- Michael Royce - Mason
- Peter Shorey - Nervous/Provost
It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow features evocative classic tunes from the period, including
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Moonlight Serenade, Goodnight Sweetheart and I've Got A Feeling
I'm Falling, as well as original songs by Musical Director Graham Pike.
MORE INFORMATION: Cath Pitkethly 01203 846 703