These touching and amusing letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war – from coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, occasional holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while accepting offers, when she could get away, to act – for David Lean, Noel Coward, wartime propaganda films, broadcasts, all sorts, and ultimately in
1945 starring in the classic film Brief Encounter.
Peter Fleming was away for most of the war - he writes about his adventures and trials working on deception in India and the Far East.
Not only are the letters highly engaging, but they also provide a fascinating historical insight into that time of true austerity and fearfulness.
Churchill War Rooms May 8th 2019
I wasn’t prepared for how funny the letters were, nor how touching. Those war years seem to have formed one of those rare Elizabethan-like pockets of time which imbues everyone with humour, articulacy, honesty.
Reviews from New York May-June 2019
‘....audiences will relish the opportunity to see this show…see it while you can.
Lighting and Sound America
‘Lucy, their daughter, has shaped their letters into a conversation across space and time- a vivid reportage and testament to a profound and enduring love.’
Plays To See in New York
‘the actors deliver this fascinating love story with thoughtfulness, pride, and creativity .It’s an unforgettable, poignant look at the war, family, the wrenching moments of separation and loss, and finally, joy’
‘It’s a soaring, memorable ending that wraps the piece on a doubly high note’
‘….funny and quietly hypnotic.’
‘...so memorable is their deep love for each other. It shines through on every page…..the compelling story has us cheering for the Flemings.’
‘Voiced with effortless charm by Lucy Fleming and the witty and debonair Simon Williams.’
Feedback from 59E59th Street members
‘…so touchingly presented the human cost of devastating war conveyed but such talented actors.’
‘…truly capturing the British wartime spirit of humour and courage, as well as revisiting some interesting cinematic history’
‘Anyone who saw Brief Encounter could not help but be thirsty for more.’
‘Brought tears to my eyes. A thoroughly delightful experience’
‘ The letters made the authors come alive. Both humerous and touching…’
‘In one word: sublime - from beginning to end. Thank you.’
Giles Cole Garrick Club June 2018
“I’m going to stop for a moment,” said Lucy Fleming, two minutes into Posting Letters to the Moon........ “You haven’t got your little lights turned on,” she said. And indeed the swan-neck lectern lights were not illuminating Simon’s script and she could see that he might struggle to read it easily. “Darling, I love you more and more” he replied, and lights adjusted, we continued with the show. It was a suitably touching moment for this most personal of stories.
Lucy’s parents were Peter Fleming (brother of Ian), who was engaged on military intelligence during the war, and the actress Celia Johnson, whose most famous role was as the married woman who falls in love with Trevor Howard in the film Brief Encounter. The Fleming/Johnson letters conjure very poignantly the austerity of the war years, the indomitable British spirit, and the carefully vague reports of military life in India and the Far East. What comes through most strongly is how the intricacy of family life, whether it be learning to drive a tractor, or visits to the doctor over problems with a young son’s ‘twig and berries’, sustain a marriage where the location of one spouse is largely unknown (“I might as well be posting letters to the moon”) and the location of the other is given in perfect detail.
This was a delightful evening, performed with great delicacy and humour by two seasoned professionals perched on matching stools either side of a screen, like guardians of the family images of two generations ago.
The exchanges reminded us of the hardships of war and the enduring strength of the human spirit to get though such adversity, which they did fortified by mutual encouragement, deep love and respect for each other. We must thank Lucy, whose looks and voice strongly resemble her mother, and her family for sharing these treasured writings with us.
Wiltshire Gazette and Herald June 19th 2018.
“An extraordinary evening. Intimate, poignant and deeply moving.”
“One of the most memorable evenings in the theatre I have ever had.”
James Tillitt Deal, November 2018.
October 2nd 1944
I had lunch with Mr Coward who read me his new film that he wants me to be in. There is no getting away from the fact that it is a very good part and one I should like to play. It’s about a woman, married and with two children who meets by chance a man in a railway waiting room and they fall in love. And It’s All No Good.