Chilling Eastbourne connection to Big Band icon Glenn Miller

The Glenn Miller Story. Picture by Pamela Raith
The Glenn Miller Story. Picture by Pamela Raith

Be prepared to get ‘in the mood’ when The Glenn Miller Story, starring legendary song and dance man Tommy Steele, comes to Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre from February 16-20.

Tracing the life and music of 1940s jazz trombonist and bandleader Glenn Miller, this toe-tapping musical comes to The Congress for the first time ever. However Eastbourne has a special, if slightly chilling connection, to the big band icon Glenn.

It was a foggy, dank December afternoon in 1944 when Miller’s plane was last spotted, flying over Beachy Head and into a mystery which is yet to be solved more than 70 years on.

After flying over the white cliffs at 14.37 precisely on December 15, on course and on schedule for the final destination – Paris to entertain the troops – the aircraft simply disappeared. Forever. No sign of the plane was ever found and Miller’s disappearance remains one of the Second World War’s most enduring mysteries.

This new production charts the life, fame and vanishing of America’s most famous big band leader. Featuring a live 16-piece orchestra this show is the story of one man’s sheer determination to find a unique sound, a quest that became his musical Holy Grail.

The talented cast is led by Tommy Steele, Britain’s first Rock and Roll icon who has enjoyed a long and varied career with numerous hit singles, movies and award-winning stage performances.

Miller, the son of an Iowa schoolteacher, was a minor player in the Big Band era and a touring musician for 20 years. It wasn’t until 1937 that he was finally able to make his music so distinctive – by using clarinets to replace the trumpets which were so commonplace in big band music, and the new sound was born.

The toe-tapping score includes 30 songs such as Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pennsylvania 6-5000, String Of Pearls, St Louis Blues March, American Patrol, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and In The Mood, amongst others.

Don’t miss The Glenn Miller Story at The Congress Theatre, with nightly performances at 7.30pm and Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £18.50-£38.50, concessions and group discounts available. to book or for more information call the box office on 01323 412000 or online www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk

2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/eastbourne.herald

3 Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.