Daddy’s Letter is a time-stepping musical that combines humour with a heart-tugging story about two women. The Torbay-made film is having a special screening at the Exeter Phoenix.
Daddy’s Letter was inspired by a story writer Les Veale heard on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
Actress Liz Smith was describing to the show how her father had left her when she was a young girl with a promise to write.
Les was so moved he sat down at the piano and composed a song called Daddy’s Letter. This in turn led him to write a musical based on the song and inspired by Liz’s story. And now there’s a film.
‘A young girl and elderly lady have one thing in common; a letter from their father. While for one, it’s all she ever wanted; for the other, it is something to be feared,’ says the blurb.
The story combines daily life in a modern-day Care Home with the lively and colourful mid-1950s dance hall era, where a six-piece band takes centre stage. There are original songs in pop, Latin and jazzy blues.
Some of the filming took place at The Edge in Brixham, and called on the talents of local performers including members of The South Devon Players.
Les is a musician and has previously been inspired by the Kingswear Coastline.
Cast includes Di Davies (elderly Martha), Mary-Anne Johnson (Amy), Claire Waring (young Martha), Matt Brown (Joe), Hanna Brown (young Beryl), Gillian Poore (Ruth), Andy Killen (Steve), and Yvonne Tilley (elderly Beryl).
The sound is by Simon Gregg, and Daddy’s Letter was filmed by Glyn Read and Dee Parr.
Funds from Daddy’s Letter will go towards child bereavement charity Balloons. The charity has much in common with the story of Daddy’s Letter and the systems are now in place to raise money for Balloons through screening, DVD and CD sales.
Daddy’s Letter is at Studio 74, at the Exeter Phoenix on Sunday, October 29 at 4pm (book now).
And whet your toe-tapping appetite, here’s a glimpse of the stage show.