And A Nightingale Sang


Noreen Trayhurn

October 1985


C.P. Taylor’s bitter-sweet comedy set in Newcastle during WW2 – first staged at Live Theatre in 1977.

And A Nightingale Sang . . . opens just before the beginning of the war in a house in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne filled with well-meant and bustling domestic chaos. A family try their best to get on with their lives as the bombs fall around them. Helen, who is stoical and self-deprecating and walks with a limp. Her grandfather Andie is recruiting mourners to attend the burial of his dog; her devout Catholic mother is fretting about the health of the local priest; her father is serenading an unwilling audience with the popular songs that light up the whole play. Joyce, Helen’s younger, prettier sister is dithering over whether to accept a marriage proposal from Eric, who is being deployed to France. Helen, depended on for guidance by the whole family, has never had any attention from men – until she meets Norman, who shows her that she can waltz and fall in love.. Telling glimpses of small lives from the edge of momentous events. But for all the family, nothing can be the same after the war