News Story

We are delighted to present a sensational new production of Alan Plater’s warm and witty musical play, Blonde Bombshells of 1943.

Following the success of 2021’s Home I’m Darling and 2022’s Brief Encounter, we are once again teaming up with Stephen Joseph Theatre and Theatre by the Lake to take audiences back to the swinging 40s in this glorious production, directed by Zoë Waterman (Jane Eyre, Stephen Joseph Theatre and New Vic Theatre, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Theatre by the Lake)

Opening at the Octagon from Fri 9 June – Sat 1 July before transferring to Theatre by the Lake from Wed 5 – Sat 29 July and Stephen Joseph Theatre from Wed 2 – Sat 26 August.

Featuring a stellar company of 8 actor–musicians, the cast has now been revealed.

The full cast includes Verity Bajoria (Tale of a Thousand and One Nights, Dragonboy Productions, Atrocities at Arkham, Tell No Tales Theatre Company); Lauren Chinery (Dreamboats and Petticoats, Bill Kenwright Ltd, Gatsby, Ruby in the Dust); Georgina Field (Gods & Dogs, The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company, Roll Over Beethoven, Belgrade Theatre Coventry).

They will be joined by Stacey Ghent (We are the Best, Live Theatre, When the Long Trick’s Over, High Tide and New Wolsey Theatre); Rory Gradon (The Snow Queen, London Touring Players, Julius Caesar, The Undisposables); Sarah Groarke (The Borrowers, Theatre by the Lake, Jane Eyre, Stephen Joseph Theatre and New Vic Theatre).

Completing the cast are Alice McKenna (Red Sky at Night, Mikron Theatre Company, Girls Don’t Play Guitar, Royal Court Liverpool); and Gleanne Purcell-Brown (Playboy of the West Indies, The Birmingham Rep Company, She Loves Me, Sheffield Crucible).

The Blonde Bombshells, the most glamorous all-girl swing band in the North, loses members every time it plays a GI camp. Now there’s an important BBC job in the offing and Betty needs to find new musicians fast!

This lively and lavish musical play is filled with glorious live swing performances of 1940s classics including Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, George Formby, Fats Waller and more, taking audiences on a wonderful journey back to a bye-gone era.

The creative team includes Jess Curtis (designer); Greg Last (musical director); Richard G Jones (lighting designer); Chris Bogg (sound designer); Sundeep Saini (movement director); Howard Gray (orchestrations); Sarah Hughes (casting director); and Ryan McVeigh (assistant director).

Commenting on the casting of the production, director Zoë Waterman said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be directing Blonde Bombshells of 1943. We have got a glorious and terribly talented cast; it is such a privilege to work with performers who are not only stunning actors but also phenomenal musicians.

“I can’t wait to get into rehearsals and start bringing the characters to life and weaving the music through the show. It is always a joy to make work that celebrates women, and this is no exception - full of hilarious, practical, strong characters who make do and mend as the time dictates and manage to pull an all singing, all dancing performance out of the jaws of an air raid.”

The Blonde Bombshells of 1943comes to the Octagon Theatre Bolton from Fri 9 June – Sat 1 July.