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's Theatre]

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

11:17
Queen's Hospital in Romford is the flagship of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

A woman who has stayed in hospital for seven months over an undiagnosed condition claims to have been told by a doctor in A&E she would have to wait 22 hours in a wheelchair before being seen.

Tom Wilson in action for Old Loughts against former club Havering, a month before his tragic death (pic: TGS Photo)

A fund dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation after a hockey player died following a “freak accident”, has gained official charity status.

Yesterday, 15:00
Cole Hockett will be climbing Snowdon and the seven peaks of the Snowdon National Park to raise money for the National Autism Society and raise awareness of autism.

A walking enthusiast will be making his way to the top of Snowdon in a bid to raise further awareness and money for an autism charity.

Yesterday, 10:00
Sylvia Williams, Andy Brett, Lin Wilcox, Dick Williams, Deputy Mayor Cllr. Linda van den Hende, Dave Wilcox, Steven Deer, Alf Ellis, JeffOliver. Picture Jeff Oliver photography

Whether it was intentional or by complete accident, most of us have taken a selfie at some point in our lives.

Saturday, January 14, 2017
The female-only marching band has performed before audiences across Europe.

A marching band exclusively for young girls and women is starting the year with a drive for new recruits.

Saturday, January 14, 2017
Crazy Beat record store in Upminster.

With billions of songs streamed online every year, you could be forgiven for thinking that buying a vinyl record was a thing of the past.

Saturday, January 14, 2017
Student at St Edward's Elijah Ssempa interviewed Borough Commander Jason Gwillim about how to improve the relationship between young people and the police.

A pupil is urging the borough’s police force to continue its efforts to improve communications with young people.

Friday, January 13, 2017
Niall during a boxing session in Romford

Ding ding ding, week two of my resolutions challenge is well under way and I’m pleased to report I haven’t strayed from either of my pledges so far.

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

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

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