It’s Panto Time!

Pantomimes were by no means unique to the British Salonika Force but – with a lack of home leave and limited sources of entertainment, especially ‘up country’ – they seem to have been a notable feature of the campaign.

28th Division’s 85th Field Ambulance stand out, producing Dick Whittington in just a fortnight for Christmas 1915. They went on to bigger and better things – even with the Division’s move to the Struma valley – with Aladdin in Macedonia in 1916/17 and Bluebeard in 1917/18 and even performed their shows into the 1920s.

I’ve long thought how good it would be to hear some of the music from these shows one hundred years on, so I was delighted to be contacted by Philip Edwards who wanted to do just that. Philip used lockdown to produce, what can only be described as audio-visual extravaganzas! Thank you, Philip.

So settle down and imagine yourself in the Kopriva Palace Theatre and enjoy this number from Aladdin in Macedonia

… then this traditional Greek Christmas Dance …

… and finally, the touching song “Farewell”, sung by Dick and Alice in Dick Whittington …

And, on that wistful note we wish all our members, friends, visitors and their families a very happy and safe Christmas and all the very best for 2021.

Photo from the front cover of the December 1939 issue of 'The Mosquito'; the pit orchestra for "Bluebeard"
Photo from the front cover of the December 1939 issue of ‘The Mosquito’.

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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