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Expert comment: The story behind Liver Birdsong – The Liverpool Blitz Musical

Liver Birdsong Tuesday 22 November 2016

Professional Tutor in Business Revd Tony Bradley explains the story behind his new musical Liver Birdsong.

Some stories resonate down the years, whilst others have been partly forgotten and need to be refreshed for later generations. The story behind our new musical - Liver Birdsong - The Liverpool Blitz Musical - is definitely one to touch all of us in this season of Remembrance. This year marks 75 years since the Liverpool Blitz, but a few months before the main offensive against our vital port city took place, there was an event that wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill later described as 'the most serious civilian incident of the entire War'.  

This Wartime tragedy became known as The Durning Road Bombing. A Luftwaffe parachute bomb fell on the, supposedly impregnable air raid shelter underneath the Ernest Brown Junior Instructional Centre, close to Edge Lane. At least 180 people died when a hot water cistern was ruptured, cascading boiling water onto those sheltering in the deep basement. However, some were pulled-out alive, including seven-year-old June Milligan, who will be a guest-of-honour at our opening performance on Tuesday 29th November.  

The lives of the 'bomb girls' who worked at ROF Kirkby provide another inspiration for our show. We tell the fictional story of four of these 'liver birds', who go out for a night on-the-town on November 28th 1940 and get caught-up in the events at Durning Road. Will Maggs, Carla, Daisy Mae and 'Cockney' Lil be able to overcome their own jealousies and fears, as well as the Nazi's, and find hope?  

Although this is a work of fiction, it is based on these events and the rapidly changing lives of women during the War. Although largely forgotten, even on Merseyside, the stories of our liver birds are remarkably relevant for today. Everyone has a song to sing, but each one is different and unique.

Liver Birdsong - The Liverpool Blitz Musical runs at The Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street, from Tuesday 29th November – Saturday 3rd December. All students can get tickets for £5.50 for the Wednesday night (VIP Night) performance, with concessions available for all other performances, except Saturday 3rd December. 

To reserve tickets, please contact Tony Bradley at bradlet@hope.ac.uk.

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