Hastings - Secret romance and subterfuge in the Blitz

Here at Last is Love offers a funny, touching and surprising new play by best-selling author David Charles Manners at The Stables Theatre, Hastings, May 25-28.

Here At Last Is Love
Here At Last Is Love

Spokesman Neil Sellman said: “Here at Last is Love is set in The Pink Sink, the bar beneath the Ritz Hotel, where a true story of secret romance and subterfuge at the height of the London Blitz is revealed. The play centres around the remarkable life of a woman known as Sodomy Johnson, who ensured The Pink Sink provided refuge, comfort, kindness – and more – to some of the most significant and glittering figures of wartime gay life.

“Here at Last is Love is based on a private archive of courageous, passionate letters written between The Pink Sink Set’s writers, actors, army officers and MI5 agents.

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" These included playwright Terence Rattigan; screenwriter Paul Dehn, ‘the gay godfather of James Bond’; American poet Dunstan Thompson and Michael Pitt-Rivers, whose conviction in 1954 led to the law-changing Wolfenden Report.

“All their letters starkly expose both the social pressure gay men were under to keep their sexuality hidden and the full, joyful lives and loves they pursued in private that supported them through the horrors of active service.

“The play also includes some of the greatest songs of the era and part of an unpublished work by Terence Rattigan discovered in 2021 amongst Manners’ family papers, which has not heard in public for 89 years.

“Jason Morell directs an exciting cast, with the renowned operatic mezzo Louise Winter in the role of Sodomy Johnson. Following Manners’ success with Picture Perfect performed by the Olivier Award-winning Liza Sadovy at The Stables Theatre, Hastings, Here at Last is Love will run for five performances, from May 25-28.”

Tickets are available through The Stables Theatre website or through the box office on 01424 423221.”

Also coming up in Hastings, Shalalamar perform at the White Rock Theatre on Wednesday, May 25.

A spokesman said: “The Songbook Tour will feature their powerful hits and some of the best album tracks, many of which have never been performed live before.

"With 11 top thirty singles chart entries (eight top twenty hits), Shalamar bring the feelgood factor, something that has been missing from all our lives recently.

“Shalamar are one of the most acclaimed live acts on the circuit winning the Best Live Experience at the Bright Star Awards (Colourful Radio) and Best Live Act as voted for by readers of Soul Survivors magazine.

“With 25 million record sales under their belts, Howard and Jeffrey, along with newest member Carolyn provide A Night To Remember with their smash hits: There It Is, Friends, I Can Make You Feel Good, Dead Giveaway, Take That To The Bank, For The Lover In You and many more.

“Shalamar are fronted by three dynamic individuals.

"Jeffrey Daniel is the man who taught Michael Jackson the moonwalk and introduced body-popping to Europe and the UK.”