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The Love Letters of the title date from 1940: World War II, the year of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the Moonlight Sonata raid on Coventry at the height of the Midlands blitz.
The musical repertoire, a mixture of classical, jazz , swing and popular song, dates from performances and broadcasts of the time and has been specially arranged for English Serenata. For tracks, see Love Letters: music and artists.
From April 1940, delightful and witty flirtation and sharp comment on the progress of the war flew in the post between Coventry and Stourbridge, a town to the west of Birmingham. The young couple, John and Muriel, exchanged weekly letters until November, when postal and telephone services were disrupted by bombing and neither knew if the other had survived.
The letters were found more than sixty years later, with the pencil-written Dunkirk diary of a member of the Worcestershire Regiment, still tied up in their original bundles with wartime tape.
All the actors have appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company. John and Muriel are played by Sam Alexander and Hannah Barrie. Samuel West portrays Muriel’s soldier brother Ernest and BBC Newsreader Alvar Liddell. Jeffery Dench is the rich voice of Winston Churchill.