Billingborough’s 1940s night to remember

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Paula Walton, secretary of Billingborough Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) reviews the company’s A 1940s Concert.

Billingborough Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) was formed in 1975 when Mrs Sheila Wood, whose husband was the local vicar, wanted some entertainment to follow the harvest supper. After a period of inactivity the group has been revived and the debut presentation of ‘A 1940s Concert’ received many good reviews and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and cast alike.

The evening started off with an introduction from a member of the original BATS, Ivan Spencer, who kept us entertained with his witty anecdotes, followed by songs by our very own Carmen Miranda (Bernice Harris), a musical medley from Flannigan and Allen (Malcolm Barlow, Wayne Chessum) plus a couple of beautiful solo performances by Karen Goodale. The choir also sang traditional wartime songs accompanied by Liz Hill on the piano.

To tell the story of wartime years, we were treated to several sketches depicting the often harrowing times of families during the war. ‘Call up papers’ written by Rosemary Buchan, who also provided us with an amusing monologue, and a touching ‘Evacuee Story’ with budding actresses Samantha Bacon and Olivia Fay Bowden. Our other actors were Matthew Coupland, Samantha Turner and Karen Goodale.

During the evening the sell-out audience of 160 sampled a tasty typical wartime meal of bangers and mash, followed by fruit salad and evaporated milk which was no mean feat for the three ladies in the kitchen. A huge thank you to Meg Reynolson, Barbara Walton and Brenda Zealand. This was served to table by our enthusiastic landgirls who also provided a drinks service throughout the night.

And to end the evening a good old fashioned 1940s singalong with all the favourite golden oldies and plenty of audience participation.

The aim of the BATS is not just to put on entertaining performances for the community but to raise much needed funds for the refurbishment of the village hall. If anyone would like to join our enthusiastic team either to act or help behind the scenes, costumes, scenery, props or refreshments please contact Karen on 07958 162503 or Paula at for more details. We would also like to hear from you if you would be interested in directing a play for the BATS to act.

We raised the grand total of £1,204. Truly a night to remember. Diary date: January 17 and 18, 2016 – Cinderella.