SIR, - I am writing to say how much I enjoyed the Duns Players production of Peter Durrant’s ‘The Brylcreem Boys’, a play about the WW II pilots who executed the Dresden air attack, staged appropriately on 11/11/11, in Duns Volunteer Hall, to a capacity audience.
The action was imaginatively set in the centre of the hall, allowing it to be viewed from all sides and putting the characters firmly in our midst. The cast were young and handsome, the exact age of those who actually flew the planes, and like them, possibly a little nervous at first.
The joshing and frustrations of young men confined to a hospital ward (Act 1) metamorphosed dramatically into a powerful and moving mock up of the Dresden attack, ordered by Bomber Command to take the war to the Germans and controversial owing to its exceptionally high casualty rate.
The actors formed their ‘plane’ from their hospital beds and the ‘attack’ was instigated and orchestrated by their pilot ‘Skipper’, suddenly galvanised to life from his traumatised silence in Act I.
The sure and consistent direction from John Schofield, the intensity of emotion and skill demonstrated by each member of the cast and the skilful use of sparse props and lighting transformed the audience experience from one of a general enjoyment of a capable amateur production into a genuinely moving and gripping one.
Bravo the Brylcreem Boys! I look forward to the next production.