This was a workshop about endings: the end of the second world war, and the end of a wonderfully creative period of developing ideas for the second Isleworth community play.
We began by recapping the material we had worked with and the ideas that had materialised which we wanted to keep in our new play. These included our chorus of spivs, how working lives changed - especially for women, the disruption to children’s education and the culinary inventiveness, neigh (sic) ingenuitythat emerged from the kitchen in this ‘make do’ era.
Inspirational figures that have come to the fore include Winston Churchill, the Queen Mother, Gracie Fields, George Formby and, more locally, flying ace, Brendan (Paddy) Finucane, and champion rower, Amy Gentry. We will definitely be hearing more about them.
As a tribute to the Hollywood legend, Esther Williams, who died on Friday, we began with our very own ‘Bathing Beauty’ sychronised swimming routines - it is truly amazing what a group of like-minded creatives can produce in ten minutes! See the photographs if you don’t believe me.
Groups then took accounts of how different people experienced VE day. For every street party or bonfire lit or trip to the Mall to celebrate with the masses, there were those who were grieving, traumatised and for whom life was altered utterly.
We ended with a ‘street party’ of our own. We brought the tables from the final scenes together in the middle of the hall and celebrated the end of one phase and the start of the next for the Isleworth Community Play.
See you in the autumn when we will hold public meetings and auditions to find our brave hearts looking for a theatrical adventure right here in Isleworth.