Touch It Light
Robert Sharrow was the pseudonym of Robert Storey.
“The first production of this new comedy is a theatrical event of outstanding importance. Concerning the lives, ambitions and humours of an all-Cockney searchlight unit, it is, in our opinion, the most authentic, penetrating and genuinely funny ‘service’ comedy written in the last ten years. A first-rate cast will be directed by Basil Dean, one of the most distinguished producers of our day.” Windsor publicity, 1957
“One of the unluckiest plays of the year was TOUCH IT LIGHT, a comedy about an anti-aircraft unit during the last war … which brought back Basil Dean to West End management. TOUCH IT LIGHT received a most enthusiastic press and seemed all set for a long run, but by unhappy chance was forced to leave the Strand Theatre.” – Theatre World Annual (London) Number 9
The character ‘Norman’ was dropped after the initial Windsor run. Preceding the play’s tour dates, a separate production was presented at Richmond Theatre, Surrey from 5th to 10th May 1958. A film version, directed by Lewis Gilbert and entitled LIGHT UP THE SKY, started shooting at Twickenham Studios in December 1959, retaining Harry Locke, Johnny Briggs and Victor Maddern from the original cast.
Cast & Crew
|‘Spinner’ Rice||Douglas Ives|
|Eric McCaffey||Robert Desmond|
|Leslie Smith||Johnny Briggs
(credited as John Briggs)
|Lt Bombardier Tomlinson (‘Tommo’)||Victor Maddern|
|Roland Kenyon||Harry Locke|
|Syd McCaffey||Peter Jones|
|Ted Green||Arthur Lovegrove|
(started 27th February 1958)
(started 12th May 1958)
|Setting designed by||Hal Henshaw|
|Stage Manager||Muriel Ridley|
|Assistant Director||Max Norris|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Ralph Ball|
|Presented by arrangement with (West End)||Send Manor Trust Ltd|
II was the only female of the company but found all the ‘boys’ wonderful guys to work with. I was always included in their various activities visiting restaurants and watching the cod boats come into Hull docks early in the morning. This was when the show went on tour and it was my responsibility to get the set up and struck and ready to move on, usually by train. I was sad the play didn’t run longer at The Strand Theatre as I was only recently out of Rose Bruford College,having had a short apprenticeship at
Windsor. Nevertheless, it gave me a good start to a worthwhile career in the West End
.In one scene a German bomber had to dive down to attack the site and I knew I had cracked the effect when the matinee audiences ducked down in their seats as I brought the effect in over their heads !!
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