Air raid sirens and Vera Lynn songs to ring out as South Shields bar hosts Second World War-themed variety show

A wartime-themed variety show – complete with Vera Lynn numbers, air-raid sirens and a ‘Blitz-era’ setting – is being organised to raise funds for a cancer charity, by a man who fought off the illness himself.

Armstrong’s Bar will host the 1940s-themed live entertainment event in support of the Marie Curie cancer charity.

The show draws on a number of recognised northern performing arts names. Lorrie Brown will star as Vera Lynn and Colin Bourdiec, the managing director of the South Tyneside Academy of Musical Performance CiC, also features.

Ron Smith, 71, the chief event organiser, from South Shields, said he and his team were aiming to put on an event with broad appeal at an affordable price.

A wartime-themed variety show – complete with Vera Lynn numbers and a ‘Blitz-era’ setting – is being organised in South Shields.

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    “I’m doing this show because I’ve had cancer myself – I’m now in remission – and I just thought I’d raise a few bob,” he said.

    “I thought the World War Two theme would do pretty well in Shields. We don’t see too many things like this in the town and, on the few occasions we do, the tickets tend to be much more expensive.

    "This is only going to set people back a tenner. We’re just hoping Covid hasn’t got too many people feeling fearful of getting to events like this again.”

    Gary Birtles, also involved with the production, spoke of the group’s experiences performing the show inside the reopened Ramsgate Tunnels in Thanet, East Kent.

    “We were performing deep inside the tunnels where people actually used to live during the war,” said Mr Birtles.

    "Some of the population were so afraid to go outside, they would actually make their homes in the tunnels.”

    Mr Birtles reminded readers not to be alarmed if passersby hear air raid sirens and along Stanhope Road on the first Saturday in September.

    Outlining the lengths he and his team will go to in order to recreate the show’s Blitz-era setting, he added: "The stage will be decorated with flags, bunting and webbing, so you will get the feeling you’ve travelled back to a 1940’s air raid shelter as soon as you walk in.”

    The show is scheduled to start/begin at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 5.

    Tickets are priced at £10 and more details concerning the show can be found at:

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