Once Upon A Lifetime


“Once Upon A Lifetime” is based on the life story of Elsie House. Normally, an Age Exchange production would bring together many people’s recollections, but Elsie is a great storyteller in her own right and we decided to focus on just her vividly remembered experiences.

ELSIE HOUSE is now eighty-two.  She lives in Southeast London and still works as a cleaner. This is her story: A lifetime of memories and reflections presented in the form of a Musical Play by professional actors and musicians.

Several scenes from ELSIE’s life will undoubtedly strike a chord with many others of her generation: her Father’s tales of the First World War, memories of leaving school at fourteen, finding her very first job, living through the depression of the Thirties, the men in her family being called up to fight Hitler, the destruction of her home during the Blitz and then the attempt to rebuild Britain after the War.

In the latter part of her life ELSIE has had to deal with the deaths of her own parents and then that of her husband.  She believes it is her work that has often carried her through the hardest times and nowadays in between her jobs she looks after her granddaughter and her great grandchildren.

This show presents the life story of one seemingly ordinary and yet in many ways quite extraordinary woman.  Her tale is both a unique and a universal one, performed against the backcloth of the Twentieth Century.

During the show audiences are encouraged to join in with songs they will remember from the past and after each performance the actors will come out and chat informally to the audiences and discuss any memories and recollections that the piece might have brought back for them.


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