We’ll Meet Again: The Bluebird Girls 2

Written by Rosie Archer
Review by Simon Rickman

1941. Three young ladies fresh from the school choir form ‘The Bluebirds’ singing group during the height of Hitler’s bombing campaign. We follow their success as they go from local one-nighters in Portsmouth, to a residency in a posh hotel, thence to a full radio show recording with the famous Geraldo; this is mostly seen through the eyes of their chaperone Jo and driver Blackie (why Blackie? That pestered me throughout). Some of the ‘action’ is in the pluperfect, so we never have, for example, a full live concert or the recordings described in ‘real time’, only how the girls looked beforehand in their glittery gowns or sexy uniforms and then how it all went as they discuss it afterwards. We never meet Geraldo himself. Yes, Bea finds she can, with humour, mollify a tough heckling crowd, but that’s about as exciting as it gets. The cover notes say one of the girls, Ivy, is hopelessly in love, but you wouldn’t know it; she appears pretty unaffected. Bea, podgy thus presumed pregnant, actually has a sugar craving after an earlier horrific incident but hey, she’s soon over it, so that’s good. The third, Rainey, well… you tell me. Not one of them exhibits any real personality, any drama. Much more compelling is the sub-plot of the German war prisoner (despite his name, Max Muller – really? – in a story that mentions Max Miller?) planning to escape to Ireland, innocently helped by Bea’s brother Eddie’s girlfriend Sunshine (again, really?) who, smitten, demeans herself for love. Their tale is much more worthy of the top billing.

While local geographic and historic knowledge does add authenticity, I expected more from this title, certainly more dramatic detail. As an opening act it’s alright, but as the main event, sadly a poor show.