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.
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. In spite of the appalling-ness of Denham, the getting up at crack of dawn, the not knowing where to stay, the struggle with trains and buses I have found myself already planning how I should play bits and how I should say lines that I can remember from Noel having read it to me, in fact it has been whizzing round in my mind ever since last Friday. That is the trouble with being an actress, you do want to act even in such an unsatisfactory medium as the films, and a good part sets one itching. And it is a good part. 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.
Audience Feedback to the March 2017 tour
Dukes Playhouse Lancaster 1st March
“a theatrical gem” David Upton
“a poignant encounter with intimacy…simply spellbinding”
David Upton, Lancashire Evening Post
“very engaging, .humorous and moving…pitched just right”
“what a delightful evening listening to these wonderfully touching letters being read”
“I could watch this all again starting now”
Carnforth Station 2nd March
Glenridding Public Hall 4th March
“I could have listened to her voice all day”
Keswick Alhambra 5th March
“charming and a real insight into that era, and how people seemed to cope admirably when apart, particularly during war times. I had not seen the film before and it was excellent. I was quite spellbound and the diction, well quite wonderful. Current productions could learn a lot.”
‘Absolutely loved Posting Letters to the Moon”
“my favourite film.fantastic to see it on the big screen”
The Gather , Ennerdale Centre 7th March
“wonderful, moving and a great example of how two people should communicate - the words and the honesty which helped them through their long distance relationship..”
Nettlebed 21st April
"You made me laugh - and cry tonight- in a good way!"
"Such an amazing story to tell"
"A memorable evening. So well put together, and read, very heart-warming, romantic, touching, and above all interesting."
"What a marvellous collection of letters to have survived."
"An enthralling performance."
"It should certainly be brought to a wider audience."
"The show created an amazing atmosphere as it gradually unfolded a really touching, amusing and informative story of life in England during the war. It is extraordinary to think that what was our everyday is now history and unimaginable to the subsequent generations."