BLITZ! - A ★★★★ story of guts, determination & family!

☆★★★★ BLITZ!

Lionel Bart’s wartime musical originally opened in 1962 at London’s Adelphi Theatre, while Oliver! was still running and yet to be produced on Broadway. By all accounts, it was a massive production and the most expensive ever produced at the time. Set during the blitz in the Second World War, Noel Coward called it "twice as loud and twice as long as the real thing."
Now ingeniously produced as part of Phil Willmott’s Essential Classics Season at Sasha Regan’s Union Theatre, Blitz! Is a story of guts, determination and family - the Jewish Blitzteins and the Cockney Lockes. Mrs Blitztein and Alfie Locke have adjacent stalls on Petticoat Lane: she sells herring, he sells fruit; they do not like each other. Their children are in love with one another, and not unsurprisingly, the perfect musical theatre plot ensues amongst the adversity of war, the religious conflict between Jew and Gentile, and the overpowering matriarchy of Mrs Blitztein.
Jessica Martin leads an age-diverse company of about twenty with great vigour, drive and dynamism. She also dances and sings with East End pragmatism, whether emotional, heartfelt reality or classic Bart oompah - a perfect match! Day After Tomorrow, Bake A Cake and Is This Going To Be A Wedding are archetypal musical theatre treats. But there are some great chorus numbers which come thick and fast in the fulsome Bart score - Who's This Geezer Hitler?, Far Away and Duty Calls.
Special shout out must go to Beaux Harris, Eleanor Sanders and Charlotte Bradley as the women of the Auxiliary Ambulance Service for their stand-out number, Leave It To The Ladies. The three generations of the Locke family, James Horne, Michael Martin, and Connor Carson encapsulate the uncomfortable nature of anti-Semitism, love, disability, and the eventual triumph over adversity. Caitlin Andersen as Carol Blitztein is skilfully realised, full of depth and beautifully sung, while Robbie McArtney as her brother, Harry is a forgivable, appealing rogue!
Phil Willmott’s direction and production are smart, stylish and uncompromising, benefiting from an ensemble at one, and at the top of their game. Reuben Speed’s set cleverly enhances the atmosphere and undoubted claustrophobia of the time, together with the fear and relentless spirit needed to survive.
Blitz! Is, without a doubt, Lionel Bart at his best and it is joyous to be able to see this seldom-produced work so thoughtfully, and without compromise, produced once again.
Music & Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Book by Lionel Bart & Joan Maitland

Dates 5th February - 7th March 2020
Times Tuesday to Saturday @ 7.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday @ 2.30 pm from February 15th


Cast and Creatives
Jessica Martin
Caitlin Anderson
Anna Robertson
Robbie  McArtney
Corinna Marlowe
Michael Martin
Connor Carson
James Horne
Vicki Mason
James Georgiou
Danniella Schindler
Beaux Harris
Eleanor Sandars
Charlotte Bradley
Eleanor Griffiths
Jack Slatter
Lorne Taylor
Stephen Hayward

Phil Wilmott
Musical Director
Rosa Lennox
Daniel Maguire
Set Designer
Reuben Speed
Costume Designer
Penn O'Gara
Lighting Designer
Harvey Nowak-Green
Sound Designer
Ralph Warman
Assistant Director & Dramaturg
Phil Setren
Casting Director
Adam Braham
Sasha Regan
Associate Producer
Maison Kelley