Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 We'll Meet Again: Vera Lynn, the Forces' Sweetheart theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Venue 53) Review Monday 14th August

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“We'll Meet Again: Vera Lynn, the Forces' Sweetheart” starring Melanie Gall at thespaceUK is, as the title of the show suggests, a warm hearted tribute to one of the most iconic singers of her generation and the songs that she sang, songs that kept many spirits high during the troubled years of World War II.

No other singer of those wartime years had the iconic and enduring appeal with troops fighting far away from home and if anyone ever earned the title of “The Forces’ Sweetheart” then that person was Vera Lynn.

This show is a nostalgic trip back to those years with “sing-a-long” sheets and it was obvious that for many people in the audience iconic songs like “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over (The White Cliffs of Dover) and of course “We’ll Meet Again” have lost none of their power or resonance with an audience.  These are songs that somehow captured the hearts and spirits of a generation, and Melanie Gall breathes life into them once again. These songs, like Vera Lynn herself, are totally inseparable from that wartime “never give in” spirit and the hopes and dreams of better days ahead.

If you are old enough to remember these songs yourself, or from your parents, then you will find the warmth of these songs and their words of hope taking you back to another time and place.  If you are younger and new to these songs and their lyrics, then welcome to some classics that look so easy to perform live but are actually deceptively difficult to perform properly, and Melanie Gall does a great job with these songs, even carrying on in true war-time spirit despite the odd technical problem with backing sound and just performing one song acapella.

A Canadian singing Vera Lynn classics may at first seem a little odd, but there is a genuine love of Vera Lynn and these songs that shines throughout the whole performance.

 

Review by Tom King

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