Winter Gardens dreaming of a White Christmas

Youngsters from White Christmas have a snowball fight. Picture by John Atkinson.
Youngsters from White Christmas have a snowball fight. Picture by John Atkinson.

It will be a white Christmas for the Winter Gardens thanks to a brand new show.

Lancaster Red Rose Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society will present Irving Berlin’s stage musical ‘White Christmas’ at the old Morecambe theatre from November 25-29.

The story starts on Christmas Eve 1944 on an unnamed battle field of World War Two.

A concert is being presented to US troops by Captain Bob Wallace (played by Paul Atkinson) and Private Phil Davies (Simon Kay) and is interrupted when their CO General Waverley (Geoff Houghton) informs the assembled troops that he is being repatriated to the US and they will have a new CO.

General Waverley wonders where they all might be 10 years later.

Skip to 1954, the Ed Sullivan in New York and the same Bob Wallace and Phil Davies, now internationally famous entertainers are winding up a performance prior to going to Florida to work on a new show over the Christmas holidays.

Phil Davies has arranged for them to go to a club before embarking on their journey, and has secretly invited two female singers, Betty Haynes (Vanessa Whittle) and Judy Haynes (Shannon Whittle) to sing in the club.

Phil has decided that Bob needs to find some suitable female company and agrees with the beautiful Haynes sisters to take Bob not to Florida, but to a hotel in Vermont, where the girls are to be the main attraction. On arrival they discover the hotel is owned by their old CO General Waverley, who is convinced that the US Army are about to offer him a new posting, and is not doing very well.

Vanessa and Shannon Whittle are real life mother and daughter and the company also includes Vanessa’s mother Meril Bull.

The Red Rose Company will see more than 40 cast members on stage.

The company recently held a bag packing event in Sainsburys, Lancaster, which raised more than £200, half of which has been presented to the Winter Gardens Restoration Fund.

Tickets for the performance can be booked via and cost £12 for adults and £10 for children under 16.