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History at Large


History at Large, Salisbury, Wiltshire

devised by George Fleming

Salisbury Arts Centre

17th, 18th, 19th April 1997

Those of you who saw "Nelson" and "Half a League Onward" will already be aware that tonight you are in for a history lesson (the phrase that dare not speak its name!).

The main difference tonight is that we are not simply using a narrator and static readers, but actors and singers, who will try to portray some of our themes in the form of "playlets" - or "vignettes", if you want a more stylish word.

We will also be employing our tried and true "mix" of sound effects and slides. The aim, as always with "HISTORY AT LARGE" is to try and tell the story through a fusion of techniques - lecturing, acting, audio-visual - and in so doing create an evening's informative entertainment.

Our story tonight is about the Battle of the Atlantic. This was the longest continuous action of the Second World War. The first ship was sunk on September 3rd, 1939, within hours of Britain declaring war, and the last on May 7th, 1945, after the cease-fire order had actually gone out on both sides. Over 30,000 British Merchant Seamen died in the War, and almost 26,000 U-boat crew - most of them in the Atlantic.

The Battle was fought over immense spaces and involved every kind of participation, from the policy making of major statesmen to the skill and endurance of sailors on both sides. Finally, one of its prime motivators was the fight to destroy, or maintain, the will to fight of the ordinary Briton - more than half of whose essential foodstuffs had to be shipped in from overseas.

We have tried to tell this vast story in two hours. Inevitably, we have had to leave much (too much!) out. Some of you may feel that we have made wrong choices here, but if we leave you with some "feel" for what happened and some hard knowledge, we will rest content.

George Fleming


On the left a U-boat preparing to crashdive; on the right oil and foam are all that remain of it. The photographs were taken by the aircraft which sank the vessel.


Narrator - George Fleming
Interlocutors - Ruth Buckingham, Izzy Ford
Churchill - George Todd
Roosevelt - Christian Jull
R.N. Captain - George Goulding
RN. 1st Lieutenant - Damon Scott
Merchant Captain / Spiv - Joe Rooney
German S.N.O. (Doenitz) - Graham Paramor
U-boat Captain - Cameron Loadman
U-boat 1st Lieutenant / Shipbuilder - Alec Clapperton
Mrs Harrison - Debbie Rose
Rivetter - Stephen Hall
Mother - Dee Mansfield
Kathy - Laura Buckingham
Persons from the Ministry - Carrie Jones, Sallie Lloyd
Soloists - Nikki Angel, Carrie Jones
Other characters played by members of the cast


Piano - Michael Warren
Keyboard - Graham Jull
Saxaphone - Ron Jull


Director - George Fleming
Producer - Sue Paramor
Musical Director - Michael Warren
Stage Manager - Lisa Marley
Assist. Stage Mgrs - Rashida Woodbridge, Mandy Kirkham
Lighting / Slides - Steve Lucas, Chris Evans
Sound - Luther Hindley, Stephen Dillon
Props - Geoffrey Robinson
Make-Up - Jenna Hill
Poster / Programme - Izzy Ford

(from BA Film & TV Course, Salisbury College)

Stephen Quan, Najma Abdulla, Stuart Woodman, Mark Vigna, Richard Townsend


Salisbury Arts Centre, for their co-operation in, and help with, this project, and especially to:
Jill Low, Centre Director
George Goulding, Box Office
Catherine Sandbrook, Manager
Ricky Fonseca, Lighting


Barry Keel for his invaluable help in solving innumerable problems of layout, sightlines, setting, etc.
Bob Bregazzi for all his support
James Hart, (Handcrafted Wood) Selkirk for donating the large model ships
Phillip Peel for loan of slide projector and some of the slides
Togs Fancy Dress Hire for costumes
Mary Rawlinson for scaffolding and help with construction
Ron Jull for transport
Salisbury Drama Association for their kind donation

Many thanks to all who have supported us in this venture

For more information about History at Large please contact us

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