The Prisoner of War No 21 Vol 2 January 1944

6 The Prisoner of War January, 1944 The band at Stalag X X B 328. The Brighter S itie SPORT and theatricals— footb'all and footlights— arc apparently he.coming si ill bfisier centres of attrac­tion on the entertainment side of camp life in Germany. Their popularity is being helped, of course, by the cold afternoons and long evenings of winter, and in theatricals, especially, it looks as if prisoners arc going to enjoy a boom season. A t Stalag HID Treasure Island was chosen b they camp concert party as the Christmas show, after their success with The Vagabond >King. A little earlier the staging of The Student Prince had won applause from the audience that was echoed in their letters home. “Em p ire Unite d”In addition a repeat per­formance of a previous concert was planned herein honour of eighty new arrivals from Italy ,who were given a great welcome. "There are a number of South Africans among them, so we now have in camp men from every part of the Empire,” remarks one man. ‘‘One of the room football teams is now named Empire United.” Good Shows“ I wish you could have been here! ”exclaims a member of M arlag uud M ilag Nord to his wife in describing ‘‘some really good entertainment ...last night we had a concert of mixed music, and last week the thriller. Ten Minute Alibi. The next show is Banana Ridge ."lie goes 011 to speak of football and of the cricket season that was just finished. On the improvised pitch “we usually allowed two days a week for the better players and the remaining days for what we call goon cricket— funny matches and so forth .”High Jinks Fantastic “horses” whose bodies were constructed of wooden stools and with heads made from the cardboard of Red Empire games at Fort 15, Stalag X X A.Cross boxes were throughput their paces a little while ago at a “race meeting” a t Stalag L u ft 6. Ingenuity, however, did not rest with the horses the event was enlivened by a grand parade- and dance infancy dress devised “from scrap cloth and odds and ends from per­sonal parcels,” according to the account of one performer, a Scotsman. “Our kilts were of blankets coloured with chalk to form proper tartans and our tunics doctored with white wool and silver paper to look like Highland dress. The Maoris sang and danced, the Canadians did a barn dance, one of us Scotsmen did .the Highland Fling, three the Sword Dance and eight an Eightsom e Reel. Unfor­tunately,” he'adds, “there were 110 bag­pipes.” Exercise —Two AVersions more sober invention at Slalag L u ft 6 is to' be found in the form of dumb­ bells made out of Red Cross tins filled with sand. Effective, too, apparently— “as a result of our opening performance with them we areas stiff as blazes but in spite of that a bar-bell will bethe next product.” Not content with such exer­cise alone, this correspondent is “muscling i n ”011 other weighty sub­jects-.“ I am going to classes in man,Ger­ Spanish and French,” he says.“ T hey help to pass the time.” Strung Up! There’s an enterprising amateur dress designer in Stalag 383 who has made himself a pair of shorts out of an old shirt. “They look all right when I ’ m standing u ,”hep says, “but I don’ t think I can sit down in them .”However, when lie's tired of standing he can at least relax in luxury in a ham­mock that he has pieced together from Red Cross parcel string— “much more comfortable than sleeping on boards, and almost alike spring mattress.” For Film Fans Fred Astaire and Ginget Rogers entertained Stalag L u ft 3 a few weeks ago in their film Shall We Dance? —thanks to the Red Cross in its unfamiliar iole of film dis­ tribu tor to P.O.W .camps. The audience went away with the prospect of return­ing soon to seethe next“ forthcom ing attraction ,”Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in UpBringing Baby. A consignment of beer had luckily arrived at the camp a t about the same time, so that the Astaire -Rogers dances may have gone with mote of a swing than Sever. y m phony Orchestra When the Stalag V IIIB symphony orchestra gives a concert nowadays “you have to queue for it ,”writes a member of its audience.“ There's a capacity of Goo, but there are 14,000 in the camp .”The orchestra itself is 50 strong, with three double-basses (one of them from a famous West End dance band), “form most mellifluous horns,” and violins described by our corre­spondent as being a little “pan icky /’However, a concert early in October proved a success for all concerned. B eethoven's Fifth was the main feature. Putting I lis Foo tin It The inmates of Stalag L u ft 6 have had the chance-of enjoying a t least two good plays lately —George and Margaret and Noel Coward’s Design for Living. Each show runs usually- for four nights, which means that, with a theatre holding 350,1,400 people can see it. There is murli admiration for the skill with which men manage to play women’s parts. "They have all the actions and movements just right,” remarks one critic, “except la st-n ig h t when one of them tried to standup in an evening dress and couldn’ t because he had his feet 011 his skirt.” Figures carved by a prisoner of war Mat arlag und Milag.
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