Search

First World War centenary: Community musical Paper Planes is a joy to watch and triumphantly celebrates the life of Sutton’s Farm pilot William Leefe Robinson

18:28 31 July 2014

The cast performing. [Picture: Mark Sepple for Queen

The cast performing. [Picture: Mark Sepple for Queen's Theatre]

Mark Sepple 2014 submitted by Queen's theatre July 2014

“We are humans in the wrong time.” This sentiment portraying the loss and heartbreak incurred by the First World War is a central theme in Queen’s Theatre’s spectacular Paper Planes, which tells the life story of Sutton’s Farm aerodrome pilot William Leefe Robinson.

A plane at the theatre to mark the musical taking placeA plane at the theatre to mark the musical taking place

The community musical begins with Robinson’s childhood as a naughty schoolboy and then as a student at St Bees School in Cumbria, where he, his brother Harold and their friends are a band of brothers in their Seagull Club.

But the young men are separated when they enlist for the war, with Robinson becoming a pilot.

The musical really gets into its stride here, with Robinson’s friendship with fellow pilots Frederick Sowrey and Wulstan Tempest touching and entertaining.

But the show jumps between highs and lows, with the palpable frustration of the pilots at the Zeppelins’ domination of the skies, their ecstasy when Robinson is the first British pilot to shoot one down and Robinson’s horror at being a prisoner of war.

The cast in rehearsalsThe cast in rehearsals

There are also some highly-charged emotive moments, such as when the pilot’s old friends come back to haunt him, singing as they fall dead one by one.

A fictional romance between Robinson and an East End girl is great fun and every song is engaging and brilliantly performed.

The 65 cast members, residents aged between seven and 80, are enthusiastic and talented and the homemade props are brilliantly executed.

The final scenes return to the theme of loss, with Robinson’s indomitable spirit finally put down when he contracts the deadly Spanish influenza.

A display of paper planes at the theatreA display of paper planes at the theatre

Paper Planes is a joy to watch and perfectly commemorates hero Robinson and the centenary of the First World War.

Read more:

First World War: Heroic Hornchurch pilot celebrated in new play

First World War centenary: The pilots who worked to thwart the Zeppelin threat at Sutton’s Farm aerodrome

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

07:00
Hornchurch Nursing Home. Picture: Google Maps.

A registered nurse has been charged with serious misconduct after a panel of medical experts ruled she had “abused a vulnerable resident”.

Yesterday, 16:51
Ardleigh Green CC on Saturday morning

A cricket ground appears to have been vandalised after club members found the pitch covered in a black substance.

Yesterday, 14:50
Romford man Oliver appearing on Monday's First Dates. Picture: Channel 4

Millions tuning into the popular Channel 4 dating show last night would have seen a new round of singletons entering a swanky London restaurant hoping to be lucky in love.

Yesterday, 14:00
More rubbish has been dumped at Little Gerpins Lane over the weekend

Nearly “100 tonnes” of rubbish blocks a countryside lane after more rubbish was dumped at a notorious fly-tip hot spot over the weekend.

Yesterday, 12:15
Children enjoying an open day at Wellgate Farm. Children pose with Dingle together with farming instructor Donna Dyer

A children’s farm is hosting a fundraising day this weekend in aid of a poorly Shetland pony.

Yesterday, 11:59
The body of a swan believed to have been killed by a dog in Hornchurch Country Park on Monday /Credit: Brenda Clayton

A wildlife-lover said she was “distressed” after recovering the dead body of a swan that was attacked by a dog.

Yesterday, 11:30
Jim and Max Radford, 9, from Brentwood, join Daniella Payet making plasticine models.

The deputy Mayor joined hundreds of adults and children for a fun filled day of face painting, crafts and cupcakes in the sunshine.

Yesterday, 10:30
Members of staff outside the store for the last time.

Staff and customers bid a sad farewell to the BHS department store as it closed its doors at the weekend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now