The Yanks were over-sexed, overpaid and over here in WWII. Not everyone agreed with their deployment and, Somewhere In England, they fought their own micro-war on the domestic front.
A vibrant musical about those heady times is set for a revival next month at London’s New Wimbledon Studio after a former “land girl” tracked down the rights.
Somewhere In England salutes both the great Hollywood musicals and classic British cinema of the 1940s and ’50s.
It’s 1943 ‘Somewhere in England.’ To confuse the enemy during WWII all signposts, road signs and railway station names were removed. In media broadcasts, locations were never pinpointed but referred to merely as “Somewhere in England ”
A US army unit arrives and makes an immediate impact on the lives of a small community in rural England.
During WW2 over 1.5 million US army soldiers were stationed in Britain to prepare for the Second Front and the allied invasion of Normandy.
The first GIs landed on Britain’s shores in 1942 and brought with them candy, Coca-Cola, cigarettes, nylons and the Jitterbug.
With high wages and buckets of charm the “Yanks” won over hearts and minds to form friendships and find love that would last a lifetime.
Romance, life-long bonds and heart-ache. Somewhere In England features a beautifully crafted score of 19 songs with catchy melodies, clever lyrics and a story packed with fun, romance and nostalgia.
Director Sheila Daniels originally played a Land Army Girl in the first brief outing for Gordon Caleb’s Somewhere in England in 1987.
It played to critical acclaim for just one week. Sheila then went on to drama school and became a singer and voice coach but she never forgot the musical and decided last year that she would stage a professional production of the show.
The composer, Gordon Caleb, died in 1999, but his widow, Jean, who wrote the script, was thrilled that someone was interested in a revival.
Now the show is set for a London premiere and will see its cast of professionals supported by talented students from The Brit School in Croydon.
Said Sheila: “The New Wimbledon Studio’s black box will be home for only seven performances to showcase a lost classic. We hope it will become a beloved addition to the British Musical Theatre catalogue, entertaining audiences far and wide, ultimately giving a home-grown composer the recognition he deserves”.
The Brits will be played by Patsy Blower, Tony Barber, Olivia Maffett, Stephanie De Whalley, Hannah Ponting, Kluane Saunders, Derek Elwood and Annie Aldington.
Playing the GIs: Fed Zanni, Matt Fulbright, Aaron Jenson, Sam Landon and Ryan Ferrie.
Somewhere In England runs at New Wimbledon Studio from October 11-15.