LAFF with the RAFF

27th December 1946

The following is by Dave Lawrence, who took part in this production, which was probably instrumental in the formation of the Theatre Club

It was a one off variety show produced by Sgt Harry (Russ) Russell aided and abetted by W/O "Chick" Munnock and a host of others, mostly senior NCOs from No 1 Sergeants Mess. Both Russ and Chick were hard drinking pre-war regulars and I particularly remember that Chick had a large repertoire of risque songs which he rendered, accompanying himself on the ukulele. His main party piece was "This old hat of mine" which he usually performed late at night standing on a table top in the Mess much to the delight of those still able to stand and join in the chorus. As a matter interest, I can tell you that Chick Munnock became a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) in the Tower of London after leaving the RAF and I imagine that even the legendary Ravens must have become well used to the strains of "This old hat—" during Chick's sojourn in the Tower!

We did the show over two nights in the Astra Cinema to a packed and raucous audience. I was in the band and, with other musicians, also played bit parts eg the jury in the breach of promise number which was an irreverent skit on Gilbert and Sullivan's "Trial by Jury". It was all great fun, never to be repeated and I had left Seletar a few months before the theatre club was formed.