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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

ENSA at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

 

NAAFI / ENSA signage - Courtesy Alan Siggers NAAFI / ENSA signage - Courtesy Alan Siggers

 

Above - Two images showing NAAFI / ENSA signage - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who the man in this photograph is please Contact me.

During the war years Drury Lane was the headquarters of ENSA (The Entertainments National Service Association), an organisation set up in 1939 by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson, that provided professional entertainment for the armed forces. The Theatre was closed to the public but the ENSA shows were created on its vast stage and then shipped around the world to entertain the troups. ENSA was part of NAAFI (The Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes). You can read more about ENSA here and there is a very nice trailer for an unmade documentary on ENSA here.

The Stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years whilst shows were being built for ENSA - Courtesy Alan Siggers

The Stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years whilst shows were being built for ENSA - Courtesy Alan Siggers

Above - Two Views of the Stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years whilst shows were being built for ENSA - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

The Long Dock behind the Stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years where equipment and sets were stored for use in ENSA shows - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - The Long Dock behind the Stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years where equipment and sets were stored for use in ENSA shows - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Basil Dean and Leslie Henson (founders of ENSA) sitting oposite each other in their office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who the other chap in this photograph was please Contact me.

Above - Basil Dean and Leslie Henson (founders of ENSA) sitting oposite each other in their office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. On the walls are some ENSA Posters for a Garrison Theatre and an Artillery Theatre, possibly the Royal Artillery Theatre, Woolwich. If you know who the other chap in this photograph was please Contact me.

Basil Dean (one of the founders of ENSA) and his secretary in their office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - Basil Dean (one of the founders of ENSA) and his secretary in their office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Leslie Henson (one of the founders of ENSA) and other staff in an office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - Leslie Henson (one of the founders of ENSA) and other staff in an office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. A sign on the wall reads 'You Are Spending The Soldiers Money'. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

Staff in an office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. The Calendar on the Wall dates the photograph to 1940.

Above - Staff in an office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. The Calendar on the Wall dates the photograph to 1940. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

Secretarial staff in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - Secretarial staff in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

An ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - An ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

Telephone Switchboard staff in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - Telephone Switchboard staff in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

Someone working at his desk in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. This may be a composer judging by the piano.

Above - Someone working at his desk in an ENSA office at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. This may be a composer judging by the piano. If you know who this is please Contact me.

The Hard Working ENSA Wardrobe Girls at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - The Hard Working ENSA Wardrobe Girls at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

The ENSA First Aid Room situated in a Dressing Room at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - The ENSA First Aid Room situated in a Dressing Room at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

The ENSA First Aid Room situated in a Dressing Room at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - The ENSA First Aid Room situated in a Dressing Room at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane during the war years - Courtesy Alan Siggers. If you know who any of the people in this photograph were please Contact me.

The Back of this photograph reads:- Forsyte, Seamon and Farrell, the radio, and stage stars who are off to Northern Ireland on an ENSA tour to entertain the troops on behalf of ENSA. (With W.Macqueen-Pope's Compliments, P.R.O. for ENSA) - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Above - The Back of this photograph reads:- Forsyte, Seamon and Farrell, the radio, and stage stars who are off to Northern Ireland on an ENSA tour to entertain the troops on behalf of ENSA. (With W.Macqueen-Pope's Compliments, P.R.O. for ENSA) - Courtesy Alan Siggers.

Photographs on this page were kindly sent in by Alan Siggers, former Chief Electrician at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, who worked there from 1967 to 1980 and rescued the photographs from a skip during a clear out.

Other Pages that may be of Interest