Taking candy from the Yanks and playing on bomb sites
Dennis Potter's tale of wartime childhood Blue Remembered Hills presented by Harrogate Dramatic Society is set to open at Harrogate Theatre Studio.
Set one afternoon during 1943, the height of World War Two, rehearsals have brought back memories for Paul Dunstan, who plays the abused and teased outcast Donald – nicknamed by the others as Donald Duck.
Paul remembers being dumped under the stairs in a sleeping suit during air-raids or wearing his Mickey Mouse gas mask for school drill.
He and his pals played on local farm-land and made friends with German and Italian prisoners-of-war working nearby.
Before D-Day in June 1944 he and his brother became big fans of “the Yanks”, billeted in his grandmother’s requisitioned home. “At the age of six, trying to lift an M16 carbine, (the weapon used by US troops) felt like it was nailed to the floor,” hesaid.
“But at least the Yanks kept us in ‘candy’.”
The director is Judi Kenley and playing the boys and girls are Arthur Timmins as Willie, an easy-going lad up putting up with an overpowering Peter, Michael Garside.
They are joined by John, a fair-minded individual, played by Richard Naylor, who looks after his brother, Raymond, in the hands of Mark Nicholls.
The two girls are played by Gill McVey as Angela and Society newcomer Liz Kelley as Audrey.
Blue Remembered Hills is proving to be a popular must-see production from Harrogate Dramatic Society.
Tickets are selling well and are still available on–line at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or by telephone on 01423 502116 or in person at the Harrogate Theatre box office.
The play opens at 7.45pm on Tuesday December 4 and runs until Saturday December 8, daily at 7.45pm with a Saturday matinee at 2 pm.