May 3 • 5M

Foreword and Opening Credits

 
1.0×
0:00
-4:33
Open in playerListen on);
It is 1940. Two boys from London, Terry and Jack, aged seven and eleven, are being evacuated to escape German bombing. They end up in Cornwall, where they spend the next four years. The intensely moving musical by Terence Frisby tells the unforgettable story of those boys and their "second childhood". Full of surprising humour and memorable songs, this is a unique portrait of an extraordinary time in British history. "Enchanting, profoundly moving and delightful," Charles Spencer, the Telegraph. Starring John Owen-Jones, Katie Secombe, Rosie Cavaliero, Marcia Warren, Evie Hoskins, Ian Virgo, James Clyde, Peter Temple and others.
Episode details
Comments

In an illustrious career which included the longest-running comedy in the history of the West End, a hit film with Peter Sellers and Goldie Hawn, one of ITV’s most successful sitcoms of the 1970s, another of ITV’s most successful sitcoms of the 1980s, awards and fortunes, made and lost, my father, Terence Frisby regarded Kisses on a Postcard as the best thing he ever wrote. I couldn’t agree more. It has everything.

Kisses began in 1988 as a radio play, Just Remember Two Things: It’s Not Fair And Don’t Be Late, a series of reminiscences about Dad’s experiences as an evacuee during World War Two. BBC Radio broadcast the play ten times, creating some sort of record, and it received the biggest audience response that anyone in the BBC Radio Drama department could remember. It won the Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play and was mentioned critically in the same breath as Under Milk Wood and Cider With Rosie. It was then optioned to be a film, where it got stuck in development hell for fifteen years, and the film was never made.

Dad’s close friend Jeremy James Taylor, founder of the National Youth Musical Theatre, meanwhile, had been nagging him to turn it into a stage musical and a chance encounter on a golf course in 2002 was the catalyst.

I’ve had the theatre shoved down my throat since an early age, but against all expectation this tiny community theatre project at the Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, North Devon, with mostly amateur performers, and a little known Welsh actor by the name of Derek Crewe in the main role, was the best thing I ever saw in the theatre. I remember saying to Dad at the time, even if nothing more ever happens with this, you can go to your grave knowing that no one else has ever done that to a room.

We tried for many years to raise the three million pounds we needed to bring it to the West End, but then ran into the global financial crisis. I remember giving a presentation one evening in Mayfair at a billionaire’s club. There were more than 20 billionaires in the room. It was 6th of October 2008, the day the Icelandic banks went down. It was hard to secure their interest.

Then in 2010 Bloomsbury, commissioned a book, which, as is the case with everyone who runs into this story, was loved by all who read it. In 2013 there was another production in Barnstaple, but again the West End producers didn’t come.

The book, published by Bloomsbury

My father died in April, 2020. Kisses on a Postcard is too special to remain just a script and a CD on a shelf. I did not have the means to turn it into a film or a stage show, but I did have the means to turn it into an audiobook and that is what I have done.

Dad would have been more ruthless with the script than I have and kept it to two hours. I have let it run much longer. With good reason. This story will disarm you in the most unexpected ways. You will find yourself laughing and weeping at just what wonderful things the kindest of human beings can be. I hope you enjoy it.

And if you do, please tell your friends.

Thank you.

Dominic Frisby.