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Till The Boys Come Home – November 2018

Sat 10 November 2018 - Sun 11 November 2018 at The Sydenham Centre
Show(s) at
Show lasts approximately , suitable for .

About the Show

SPONTANEOUS PRODUCTIONS in association with KIRKDALE BOOKSHOP presents:

A FREE screening of all four parts of a groundbreaking community musical marking the centenary of the end of WW1.

Back in July 2014, to mark the centenary of the start of WW1, Spontaneous Productions and Sydenham Arts Festival staged an epic four-part community musical, at four different venues. Telling the story of the gasworkers of the South Suburban Gas Company in Lower Sydenham, 58 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice, these free full-length musical shows were part-funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.


Photo credits: Ian Thomas, Steve Broh, Emile Mendes, Paul Treacy, Sebastian Hilditch, Mark Drinkwater

This groundbreaking production featured a cast of over 200 people, including professional actors, two community choirs, three primary schools, two secondary schools and a youth theatre. Written and researched by Lucy Kaufman, produced and co-directed by Jonathan Kaufman with a team of three directors, and with original songs written and composed by Julian Kaufman, the shows received universal praise from the 1000+ people who came to see it.

Now, marking the centenary of the Armistice in November 1918, we are screening all four parts over two days. This unmissable experience, a testament to the Sydenham community, explores our rich heritage, telling an authentic, complex story which confronts all aspects of war.

The Audience Reviews

What audiences said about TILL THE BOYS COME HOME:

  • I saw all four of these plays and I loved them. I was only planning to go to two but enjoyed them so much that I saw all four. The acting and singing was West End standard” (Caroline Finill)
  • “I thought the whole experience of Till the boys Come Home, Parts 1, 2 3 and 4 were fantastic” (Luigi Salsano)
  • “We thought “Till The Boys Come Home” was a superb production. The involvement of so many different parts of the community, particularly children, was very striking, and the focus on the workers from the gasworks, and their families, was an extremely imaginative and successful way of telling the story through the eyes of the people of Sydenham.” (Gordon and Barbara Morse)
  • “We were so impressed by what you achieved. It seemed an ambitious project and when we booked for all four parts we were not sure what to expect. But it just got better and better” (Robert Side and Valerie Kelly)
  • “I was very impressed by the whole thing, it was gripping and poignant, and brought history alive. A wonderful idea to base it on the local people around the Gasworks.” (Suzy Gettrup)

Screening Info

Upstairs at the Sydenham Centre.

  • PART 1: FOR KING AND COUNTRY – Sat 10 November 1pm-3.20pm
  • PART 2: PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES – Sat 10 November 4pm-6pm
  • PART 3: HOME FIRES – Sun 11 November 2pm-3.20pm
  • PART 4: WHEN THIS LOUSY WAR IS OVER – Sun 11 November 4pm-5.30pm

Please note that this is a ‘drop-in’ event. There is no need to book, nor are you obliged to stay for the duration of any of the four parts, and you are welcome to come and go as you please.

The screenings will culminate in a gathering of some of the original cast, a brief Q&A session and a sing-a-long of Ivor Novello’s ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’

Alongside the screening will be an exhibition of original photographs from the production, and items gathered by the cast and crew.

Age suitability: Suitable for all aged 10+ though some scenes may require parental guidance.

Originally staged as part of Sydenham Arts Festival 2014 in July 2014 at Tudor Livesey Hall, St Bartholomew’s Church, Zanzibar Nightclub and TNG Youth Centre.

The Credits

Written by – Lucy Kaufman
Original songs by – Julian Kaufman
Creative Director & Producer – Jonathan Kaufman
Directed by – Jonathan Kaufman, Juliette Grassby-Lewis & Vicki Hambley
Production Designer – Rhyan Eldon-Davis
Costume Designer – Sarah Mercade
Musical Director – Chris Huntley
Music Supervisor – Felicity Hayward
Filmed & Edited by – Ed Hartwell assisted by Lorna Hartwell
Exhibition curated by – Mark Drinkwater

The Sponsors

Supported by

Original production supported by

Original production staged in association with SYDENHAM ARTS FESTIVAL LTD

Copyright 2014 © Sydenham Arts Limited
Registered Charity No. 1161590