Review: Brookside Theatre’s community play tells heartwarming story of heroic acts during Second World War

PUBLISHED: 09:57 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 26 July 2018

The Good Intent, a community play about a heroic American pilot is coming to Brookside Theatre. Picture: Paula Harris-Brett.

The Good Intent, a community play about a heroic American pilot is coming to Brookside Theatre. Picture: Paula Harris-Brett.


Romford’s community play presents its audiences with a heartwarming story of the importance of hope in difficult times while also reminding viewers about their local history.

More than 25 people took part in this year's community play, The Good Intent at The Brookside Theatre. Picture: Hannah Poole.More than 25 people took part in this year's community play, The Good Intent at The Brookside Theatre. Picture: Hannah Poole.

I was already intrigued by the true story behind the community play at Brookside Theatre in Eastern Road and thankfully the production of The Good Intent did not disappoint.

The musical is based on the true story of Raimund Sanders-Draper an American pilot whose bravery saved the lives of more than 650 local school children in Hornchurch during the Second World War.

However, The Good Intent also offers up multiple stories by imagining the lives of those who get to know Sanders and are affected by his caring and charismatic personality such as the pilots stationed at Hornchurch airfield, the parents of the school children and the women who have to overcome rationing, air raids and the regular loss of loved ones fighting abroad.

It quickly became clear while watching the musical that Sanders isn’t the only hero on stage.

With actors and actresses between the ages of 10 and 80, The Good Intent shows how the war affected everyone, from the babies who were born to absent fathers to the women who had to deal with the internal wars that their men brought back home with them when they returned from the battle fields.

The musical maintains a good balance between scenes of despair and hope with many uplifting songs such as Pack Up Your Troubles and Coming in On a Wing and a Prayer that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 1940s.

Written and produced by playwrights Gerry Sweeney and Dave Ross, the musical coincides with the 100th anniversary of the RAF and the 21st anniversary of the plays first production at Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch.

The Good Intent is a delightful play that shows how the good intentions and heroic acts of a few can go a long way in times of difficulty.

Sponsored by Allen Fords, The Good Intent will be playing at Brookside Theatre from Friday, July 27 - Saturday July 28 at 8pm and 2pm on Saturday.

To book tickets call 01708 755775.

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