Friday & Saturday evenings April 22, 23, 29 & 30 at 7:30 pm
plus Sunday Matinee April 24 at 2:00 pm
plus Sunday Matinee April 24 at 2:00 pm
What's the Story?
Raymond Briggs first published this remarkable story as a graphic novel in 1983 and it was adapted to stage soon after. A full length animated movie followed in 1986 with a sound track by David Bowie and Roger Waters. Although set in England at the height of the Cold War, it’s relevance is timeless, especially in light of recent events.
In this tender tragic-comedy, the isolated, bucolic world of Jim and Hilda Bloggs is one of plates of sausages and chips, radio plays and a proudly tended garden. Working class, gentle and devoted to each other, the retired couple naively believe in the wisdom of the 'powers-that-be'. “Ours is not to reason why” as Jim informs Hilda, in a play that is at times pointedly satirical.
The couple are fruitlessly nostalgic for the Blitz of WW II, and armed with government issued Protect and Survive pamphlets, they construct a refuge with solid cheerfulness. Trusting in the powers that be, they emerge after the bombing and wait for government assistance.
These sweet, unassuming retirees represent an ailing, rose-tinted worldview and way of life that is woefully unprepared for the magnitude of devastation. As frustrating as Jim and Hilda’s oblivious outlook and futile, stiff-upper-lip stoicism is, it is overwhelming sadness for the couple’s fate that dominates.
Although written with humour and pathos, the final scenes of When the Wind Blows are enough to test the emotional resilience of even the hardest of hearts.
Trailer for 1986 Animated Movie
David Bowie's When the Wind Blows
Cast & Crew
Richard Kendrick will play the role of JAMES BLOGGS, a retired country gentleman, naively following govern-mental brochures on how to prepare for a pending nuclear strike in the height of the Cold War. He has a steadfast trust in government and will follow the advice of the ‘powers that be’ regardless of how absurd that advice may sound.
Ritchie recently payed Jim Devery, the "fixer" lawyer in Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday (2020), and the on-stage Stage Manager in It's a Wonderful Life Radio Play by Joe Landry (2018).
Margi Chantler returns to the SOAP Theatre stage to portray HILDA BLOGGS, who is as sentimental about the good old days of World War II as her husband Jim. Hilda is a bit of a prude and in contrast to Jim’s interest in reading the daily paper she doesn’t really pay attention to what is going on in the outside world. Rather than panic about the threat of a nuclear strike, she is more worried about burning her cake. Margi touchingly played the aging Aoiffe Muldoon in John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar (2018). Prior to that, she performed in plays and musicals in college and with Soundstage Productions in Penticton.
Producer ----------- Donna Gordan
Director ----------- Donna Macbeth
Assistant Director ------ Clem Jones
Stage Manager ----------------- TBA
Set Design ---------- Craig Bjornson
Costumes ------- Bernice Myllyniemi
Props ---------------------------- TBA
Sound Design ------ Grant Leiterman
Lighting Design ---------- Tom Szalay
Playwright Raymond Briggs
Raymond Briggs was born on 18th January 1934 in Wimbledon, London. He went to Rutlish School for Boys and enjoyed producing cartoons.
From 1949 to 1953 Briggs attended Wimbledon School of Art. He studied painting, and he also took typography courses at Central School of Art. He completed two years of National Service in Catterick in the Royal Corps of Signals.
Briggs became an illustrator, adding images to childeren’s books such as: Peter and the Piskies, Fee Fi Fo Fum, and The Mother Goose Treasury. He started to both write and illustrate books for children. He produced three comic book style books: Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday and Fungus the Bogeyman. The Snowman, Briggs’ most well-known work, was published in 1978. It doesn’t contain any words. A sequel to The Snowman, The Snowman and the Snowdog, was released in 2012.
When the Wind Blows, released in 1982, is a powerful graphic novel about a couple dealing with the reality of nuclear war. It was later made into an animated feature and a stage play, caused a sensation in England for its depiction of a nuclear attack.
Briggs' other works include: Ug, The Puddleman, Ethel and Ernest and The Bear.
Even though his books have made lots of money, Raymond Briggs lives a simple life. He doesn’t enjoy going abroad, he buys his clothes from charity shops and lives in cottage in Sussex.