formby flashback 3
Bringing music and laughter to Britain’s fighting forces
Enthusiastic welcome In a large hall that in the short space of three weeks has been trans­formed from a bare looking gym­nasium into a gaily decorated theatre at a military camp "somewhere in the North," hundreds of Tommies forgot their grouses on Saturday night to give a full-throated wel­come to George Formby and his West End Company who appeared at the opening of the theatre. From the word "go" there was an atmosphere of friendliness between the performers and the audience — an atmosphere that is quite peculiar to these concerts for the troops. The artists, top-liners from the halls, and the irrepressible Tommies let themselves go with an intimate freedom that added to the enjoyment of the soldiers and the actors, too. The inimitable George said as much when he spoke to the audience after the first show. Their enthu­siasm and their obvious appreciation, he said, had made it a pleasure to work—and he spoke for the whole company. And work they did—in fact had the soldiers had their way poor George would still be strumming on his ukulele and singing those catchy verses that he has made world-famous. When he took the stage he did not have to puzzle out which of the hun­dreds of songs from his repertoire he should sing, for the Tommies knew what they wanted, and they shouted until they got it. Time and again George was recalled and he always obliged while his laughing audience joined in the choruses—from officers and men to the trim uniformed Waffs. Such songs as dealt in no uncertain fashion with the sergeant major, earned the soldier's unstinted applause—and the line about those medals being won at darts brought roars of applause that drowned the rest of the song. Since George Formby has been touring the military camps—he has already put on 14 shows for the troops—he conceived the idea for a marching song and sat down and wrote the words and music. On Saturday night he sang it for the first time and he had only to run through it once before the rest of the audience was giving full value to the , chorus of "Swinging along, singing a song, like the boys of the new brigade." Yet George Formby and his company were not in the limelight all the time, for once while they were putting over their numbers, powerful arc lamps flooded the hall and the news reel units "shot" the happy Tommies as they roared out the choruses. The programme included sketches by George and his wife Beryl that have drawn the applause of the best known halls in the country, songs and patter by soubrettes. and truly uncanny feats by an illusionist, and as the curtain rang down George Formby promised that they would return and hinted that when other obligations had been fulfilled he would be going over to France with Beryl to entertain the troops on active service. The show was arranged by the N.A.A.F.I., in conjunction with the Entertainment National Service Asso­ciation, and Mr Basil Dean, who is the director of entertainments, and who has been all over the country—and to France as well—to organise the enter­tainments, was among the audience. Speaking to a " Darlington and , Stockton Times" reporter he said that E.N.S.A. was giving entertainments all over the country and although the organisation kept him busy he made time to go round and form contact with the various companies and the troops. Mr Dean was in a familiar place at the camp, however, for it was here that he built his last theatre at the end of the last war when he was doing similar work among the troops. The Sappers who carried out the work of reconstructing the gymnasium into a theatre did their work well.    It has a spacious stage, large auditorium and an orchestra pit, and it is hoped that professional shows will be given there for the troops every week.
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formby flashback 3
Bringing music and laughter to Britain’s fighting forces
HOME HOME A - Z A - Z Flashback - Feenamint Flashback - Feenamint Flashback - Radio Pictorial Flashback - Radio Pictorial
Enthusiastic welcome In a large hall that in the short space of three weeks has been trans­formed from a bare looking gym­nasium into a gaily decorated theatre at a military camp "somewhere in the North," hundreds of Tommies forgot their grouses on Saturday night to give a full-throated wel­come to George Formby and his West End Company who appeared at the opening of the theatre. From the word "go" there was an atmosphere of friendliness between the performers and the audience — an atmosphere that is quite peculiar to these concerts for the troops. The artists, top-liners from the halls, and the irrepressible Tommies let themselves go with an intimate freedom that added to the enjoyment of the soldiers and the actors, too. The inimitable George said as much when he spoke to the audience after the first show. Their enthu­siasm and their obvious appreciation, he said, had made it a pleasure to work—and he spoke for the whole company. And work they did—in fact had the soldiers had their way poor George would still be strumming on his ukulele and singing those catchy verses that he has made world-famous. When he took the stage he did not have to puzzle out which of the hun­dreds of songs from his repertoire he should sing, for the Tommies knew what they wanted, and they shouted until they got it. Time and again George was recalled and he always obliged while his laughing audience joined in the choruses—from officers and men to the trim uniformed Waffs. Such songs as dealt in no uncertain fashion with the sergeant major, earned the soldier's unstinted applause—and the line about those medals being won at darts brought roars of applause that drowned the rest of the song. Since George Formby has been touring the military camps—he has already put on 14 shows for the troops—he conceived the idea for a marching song and sat down and wrote the words and music. On Saturday night he sang it for the first time and he had only to run through it once before the rest of the audience was giving full value to the , chorus of "Swinging along, singing a song, like the boys of the new brigade." Yet George Formby and his company were not in the limelight all the time, for once while they were putting over their numbers, powerful arc lamps flooded the hall and the news reel units "shot" the happy Tommies as they roared out the choruses. The programme included sketches by George and his wife Beryl that have drawn the applause of the best known halls in the country, songs and patter by soubrettes. and truly uncanny feats by an illusionist, and as the curtain rang down George Formby promised that they would return and hinted that when other obligations had been fulfilled he would be going over to France with Beryl to entertain the troops on active service. The show was arranged by the N.A.A.F.I., in conjunction with the Entertainment National Service Asso­ciation, and Mr Basil Dean, who is the director of entertainments, and who has been all over the country—and to France as well—to organise the enter­tainments, was among the audience. Speaking to a " Darlington and , Stockton Times" reporter he said that E.N.S.A. was giving entertainments all over the country and although the organisation kept him busy he made time to go round and form contact with the various companies and the troops. Mr Dean was in a familiar place at the camp, however, for it was here that he built his last theatre at the end of the last war when he was doing similar work among the troops. The Sappers who carried out the work of reconstructing the gymnasium into a theatre did their work well.    It has a spacious stage, large auditorium and an orchestra pit, and it is hoped that professional shows will be given there for the troops every week.