‘The Sacrifice of a Generation’: A D-Day Community Concert

Image courtesy of Red Sauce Theatre Company.

Rachel Goodall, Director of Red Sauce Theatre Company, writes exclusively for S&C about their D-Day 75 Celebratory Concert on Sunday 9th June at the New Theatre Royal. It’s one not to be missed.

There’s just a few days to go until our contemporary theatre company ‘Red Sauce Theatre’ will be performing on the main stage at New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth as part of its D-Day 75 Celebratory Concert on Sunday 9th June. We’ll be performing in front of family and friends as well as a number of people sitting in the audience whom we have never met before, but feel very close to – our beloved veterans.

Performing alongside Veni Vidi Canto from Normandy, Portsmouth’s own Becki Short and Fine Voice Chorus, Red Sauce Theatre will be bringing to life the letters of soldiers who participated in the D-Day landing through drama, music and film.

In October 2018, we were commissioned by the D-Day Story to interpret the letters sent by the soldiers in Normandy to their wives and loved ones at home in Portsmouth. These letters were polite and almost matter of fact, but when we read a mother’s note stating ‘my son has reached his destination’ we realised that anyone reading this letter would miss what was actually being said. Our language is stronger and more emotional, the letters were crying out to be performed, to be understood and brought to life once more.

Image courtesy of Red Sauce Theatre Company.

It’s been such an honour and privilege to be trusted to perform them. We were given permission to interpret them however we liked, but there was one small issue, we had no home.

We approached Scott Ramsay, Director at New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth and asked if we could use its in-house Minghella Studio and perform our piece during their D-Day 75 celebrations. He gave us the go ahead and so Portsmouth’s very first inclusive theatre company was born.

Our theatre company has an open-door policy, regardless of age, gender or ability. We are firm believers that drama is great for making new friendships, gaining confidence, learning new skills and seeing life through a new perspective.

With a core cast of 10 performers, we range from 20 to 70 years of age, from first-timers to professional performers, we also have a range of people with disabilities within the cast and so we have learnt to work closely together.

Image courtesy of Red Sauce Theatre Company.

We hope this performance will inspire our audiences to have a new appreciation of the city, just as we have. Having been born and bred in Portsmouth, it occurred to us that we sometimes take it for granted. Perhaps forgetting it was re-built after the blitz and that it represents the sacrifices of a generation, which shouldn’t ever be underestimated or forgotten.

Join singers, actors and performers from both sides of the English Channel for a very special evening of entertainment at New Theatre Royal on Sunday 9 June.

Visit www.newtheatreroyal.com for more information on D-Day 75, A Celebratory Concert. For more information about Red Sauce Theatre Company, contact redsaucetheatre@gmail.com