ETCEA Stage Crew 1943
Broxbourne Theatre Company
“Into The Snow” from Silver Lining (1944/45)
In the darkest days of war torn
Britain, the staff and students at what was then Enfield Technical College
in North London decided to boost morale by presenting an end of term show.
But this was not to be just another school carol concert! Revue was the
popular form of entertainment in those far off days and so
College Pudding was to be a rich mixture of
song, dance and comedy.
Little did the College staff know
what they were starting when they turned for advice to a lecturer in the
Electrical Engineering Department. Before the war, Alec
Stretch had for many years been the Chief Electrician at the
Intimate Theatre in Palmers Green when it was a fully professional
repertory theatre. Now he was on temporary secondment to the College to
train army engineers desperately needed for the war effort.
The result was a polished show
that was so well received that an Entertainments Association (ETCEA) was
formed and more revues were presented throughout the remainder of the war
years. Each production was more ambitious than the previous, building up to
the presentation of our first annual pantomime Cinderella
The reputation of ETCEA's productions spread quickly and the demand for tickets
grew at such a rate that by 1948 our third pantomime
Babes in the Wood
packed houses for 10 performances. This was nearly 5,000 people – no mean
achievement for a school production!
Mother Goose (1954/55)
A spectacular show with fun for
all the family was what the public demanded in those dreary days after the
war. and that was what ETCEA gave them. As well as producing, directing
and designing sets and lighting for all of our shows, Alec Stretch also
took a major hand in the writing of scripts for those early productions. A
measure of his success can be gauged by the fact that our script for our
1949 production Dick Whittington was used a year
later for the first ever ice pantomime at Wembley.