Anna – writer/director – reminisces about the Premiere!

What an amazing day April 1st was!  No April fools in sight but a fabulous atmosphere as 1500 people in total mingled, enjoying the vintage cars, 1940’s dancers and glorious sunshine.

Inside the foyer were displays to take you back in time – the Home front display from the Local Archives, the RAF and Reminiscence tables and a 1940’s kitchen display – and many OVFM-ers busy serving on the coffee, raffle and info stalls!  It was packed inside and out and bustling with excitement – I don’t think the theatre’s seen anything like it!

The arrival of the 7 child stars in the vintage cars was so special and something I’d envisaged for months but had kept secret from the children until we knew we had got permission from the council.   I think the children were amazed to see the crowds of people cheering them on and Gypsy John and his dancers in their 1940’s outfits were entertaining the smiling hordes beside the theatre’s entrance.

It was quite a surreal experience for me – and I wish I could bottle that atmosphere and drink it in – especially now that I’m just surrounded by piles of papers and props to pack away! Having friends from different eras of my life come to support me, as well as family travelling 250 miles to attend, made my day.  Also having the support and interest from people working in the TV industry meant a great deal.  Special thanks to Julian Fellowes and Ashley Pharoah for their advice and support over the last couple of years  and also to Roland Moore, writer and creator of BBC’s Land Girls, who joined us and celebrated with us on the day.

Behind the scenes Chris, Johan and Sully were working with the Churchill techies to set up the huge screen and projector which we hired from London companies.  Everything went without a hitch – phew!

I could hardly breathe when the film started but I gradually relaxed as I heard the audience’s giggles and murmurs in appropriate places!  I was so relieved to see that the larger screen we’d managed to hire seemed just the right size and the quality of the picture superb.

We are thrilled (and relieved!) that the film has been so well received  – with many people saying that they laughed, as well as cried, and were so inspired by the story and performances too. I think the film touched many hearts!   Thank you for the many emails and cards!

Please feel free to send more feedback from yourselves or from any guests you brought! I was really pleased to hear from one family where 3 generations had attended and all of them loved it!  Thank you all for being a part of history!

(See other pages in the blog for people’s views and reviews.)

About Anna