Comrades in arms and song

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Smile and sing along: the last performances are today at Rye Community Centre

This year, which sees the centenary of the start of the First World War, the Icklesham Players have joined forces with Acting Up in Rye, in the true spirit of working together which was such a hallmark of that period of conflict to put on a tribute show Smile Boys.

It tells the story behind the lead up to this confrontation and the events and feelings of the time through a series of poems, both poignant and humorous, extracts from true accounts of those who were involved and songs that were sung by both those at home and in the trenches.

It follows “Bert”, our young soldier, from his enlistment at the music hall in 1914 as he relates his experiences of life in the trenches through to his subsequent confrontation with the enemy. Sometimes sad, sometimes humorous but always thoughtful, our story concludes as the war comes to its end.

The second half of Smile Boys takes us back to the music hall as the end of the war is celebrated. Stars of the time, such as Harry Champion, Marie Lloyd and Florrie Forde, come to life on our stage as they bring you the songs made famous in the 1900s.

The audience join in a spectacular sing-a-long finale to the choruses of Burlington Bertie, Waiting at the Church, The Old Bull and Bush and many more. The final performances are Saturday July 19, at the Rye Community Centre, tickets £6.50. Starting times: 2.30pm and 7.30pm.