Becoming ‘John’ in Wireless Operator

As actors, I don’t believe we just tell stories. I believe we get the opportunity to live them. For me, this is the fundamental difference between storytelling and acting. I get to tell a story through the eyes of someone who lived and experienced things we can only dream of. The character of ‘John’ in…

Producer’s Blog….. Auditions

Oh my goodness. This was both incredibly stressful and utterly inspirational. Start the day off very briefly with escalating nerve (nerves? why?) in a delightful café just round the corner. They make their own cakes there. The cakes look fantastic.  The cakes look delicious. The cakes look different.  The cakes have fruit.  I can’t believe…

Producer’s Blog….. East Kirkby

Who knew how fascinating this would be?  After all the research, the books I’ve read, the films and documentaries I’ve watched, the programmes listened to, the museums visited…. Who knew what an extraordinary difference actually climbing inside a Lancaster Bomber could make? Suddenly everything falls into place.  Geographically I get it.  I see how it…

Writing the Script

My first meeting with Bob Baldwin came about through Rik Mayall. I was working with Rik as ghost writer of his “sort-of-memoir”: Bigger Than Hitler Better than Christ – a dream job. Bob was a close friend of Rik’s and had written and directed lots of television with him. Bob and I became friends and…

One night in a Lancaster Bomber

I have written a play with Max Kinnings called Wireless Operator which has its premier in at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. My father Sergeant Joe Baldwin, a joiner by trade and a pacifist by instinct, was a Wireless Operator in 630 Lancaster Squadron based at East Kirkby. Like others my dad rarely talked about…

Shakespeare’s take on PTSD

400 years ago, Shakespeare’s Lady Percy describes her husband’s battle induced post-traumatic stress disorder. Original text followed by a modern translation. Henry IV Part 1 Act 2 Scene 3 “O my good lord, why are you thus alone? For what offense have I this fortnight been A banished woman from my Harry’s bed? Tell me,…

The Bomb

In the 1960s, we were a young family living in Oxfordshire. Close by was USAF Upper Hayford where huge B52 Stratofortress strategic bombers, armed with thermonuclear weapons, were based. When they were landing they would fly very low, directly over us. From our garden, we could look up and almost touch the nuclear bomb strapped…

The Merlin Engine and Rolls Royce

It is said that the Merlin Engine made by Rolls Royce made the difference between winning and losing the war with Germany.  Designed and built in Derby, Crewe, Glasgow and Manchester, the Merlin engine, an extraordinary feat of engineering brilliance provided the heft that the Lancaster needed and went on to assume mythical status. The…

Only one more plus five more to go

….the debriefing officer spoke quietly and casually. “The tour has been increased” We dropped back into our seats, wide awake now, staring at him in shocked silence. “It couldn’t mean us, we’ve only one more to go!” Jock said in a tone of disbelief. SGT JJ Baldwin When my father Joe Baldwin showed me a…