Music: Lawrence Batley Theatre hosts Lindley Amateurs in a wartime musical saga, When The Lights Go On Again.
IT IS a musical with a difference. A show where the audience will be encouraged to join in so get your vocal chords in order for Lindley Church Amateur Operatic Society’s next production, When The Lights Go On Again.
The show opens at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on Tuesday where it runs nightly until Saturday. There is also a Saturday matinee.
Expect to be whisked back to the years of the Second World War, pitched into the heart of the Parker family.
With them you will visit, or in some cases revisit, difficult times and some fun times.
Here are school concerts, rationing, the Saturday night dance, ARP wardens, air raids, queues, even Spam. There’s everything you can thing of and yes, that includes the camp concert complete with a Sergeant Major and his motley crew.
It is a big test for an amateur society but one that Stephen Jamieson has been happy to take on. This is his sixth year with Lindley, his second as the society’s chairman.
Stephen has played leading roles for the society in shows such as My Fair Lady, Fiddler On The Roof and Oliver.
He has played for a number of other societies and is much in demand for some of the best known principal roles. One of his favourites is Henry Higgins, in My Fair Lady which he has played no fewer than 11 times.
This time though, he will not be setting foot on stage. He has been cast as director.
“I’ve produced a number of times but in some ways it’s easier being on stage – at least there all I have to worry about is myself!”
“It is a very different show for us in that part of it hinges on audience participation,” he said.
“The show includes a children’s school concert and an Army concert and includes songs where we will be encouraging the audience to join in.
That’s not what you’d expect at a show such as The King and I or West Side Story!”
It’s certainly a show packed with more than 30 memorable tunes from the Forties including The White Cliffs of Dover, We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.
There’s a cast of over 30 and eight children from Lindley Junior School Choir will be singing in the shows.
“My previous experience of the show was when we did it with Heckmondwike Players at Cleckheaton Town Hall.
“Older members of the audience who had lived through those times were able to recall Churchill’s speeches and repeat them word for word. It was quite emotional.”
“I played Fred Parker in that but Ian Roberts is doing it this time. The thing with this show is that no matter how many times you play it, you see different things in it.
“It is a great family show. It is about the Parker family and how the war affected them as a family.”
“And wherever this show is staged, it can be adapted to include local references so there are plenty of connections to Huddersfield in it.”
Anna Tiffany plays Fred’s wife Alice and Jane Birdsall, is Gran Parker. Jane was last on stage with the company a year ago, playing Lady Thiang in The King and I.
The Parker family has a son, David, played here by Jonny O’Brian, who goes off to war leaving behind sisters Jane and Susan, played here by Amy Roche and Harley Butterworth who are both in their early teens.
Teenagers Rachel Hudson, Chris Pritchard and Tom Dobson are also in the show. Tom’s mother Liz plays Elsie Jones, one of the Parker family’s neighbours.
And there is a great deal of what used to be called neighbouring going on in this show which underlines how communities in wartime came together.
The Lindley society has its own community which includes performers and production team who have worked together on this show.
Working alongside director Steve are musical director Natalie Davies who is studying at Huddersfield University and Amy Roche who as well as being in the production has directed the show’s movement.
The evening performances start at 7.15pm and the matinee is at 2.15pm Tickets from the box office on 01484 4370528.