St Gertrude’s theatre makes an attack on War drama

This month sees the premier of a play written by South Croydon writer Jim de Paula Hanika when the complete with special effects, songs from the era and original film footage from World War 2.

Some of the South Croydon cast of This War! out on manoeuvres. Or rehearsals

Some of the South Croydon cast of This War! out on manoeuvres. Or rehearsals

Built around a central love story and the impact of the war on an ordinary British family, This War! captures the excitement and heartbreak experienced by millions.

The audience at Oakwood School, 59 Godstone Road, Purley will witness an innovative combination of archive film footage and traditional acting and singing: the Battle of Britain; the French resistance; and American soldiers preparing for D Day all make an appearance, but the focus of the play remains on the family, their relationships and how they struggle to cope with the trauma of a soldier missing in action.

This War! is directed by Bex de Paula Hanika and local professional actress Liz Williams.

The cast is drawn from the local community with strong links to St Gertrude’s Catholic Church and a number of local schools.

“It’s a familiar story, but told in a completely new way,” Jim d Paula Hanika said. “We use technology to deliver the epic scale of the war, but then focus back in on the actors to capture the emotion and day-to-day drama real people experienced.

“However, at the end of the day it is entertainment and we think there is something for everyone in a production that captures the spirit of British people coping with tragedy through humour, great songs and even dancing.”

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