Gimli's Aspire theatre showing poignant Second World War play in July

Closure - a play by playwright Ron Blicq is showing at the Aspire theatre from July 5 to July 7 in Gimli and is about children born out of wedlock during the Second World War Submitted by Marilynn Slobogian

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Award-winning playwright, Ron Blicq, is presenting his play Closure at the Aspire theatre in Gimli July 5, 6, and 7.

Director Katherine McLennan shapes the cast including Connor Hopper, Pete Hudson, Andrea Marantz, Josh Marantz, Cheryl Moore, Carol Stephens and Jack Szabo.

The performers are part of the Manitoba group, Shoestring Players, composed of drama educators and acting students who’ve been performing for over 50 years in rural and urban venues. Their name stems from the miniscule budget the group had to work with from the start.

Examining the subject of illegitimate war children conceived by Canadian servicemen and single women in Europe, Closurefollows a veteran who discovers at 80 years old that he fathered a son in the UK. Causing much confusion on both continents when the son, a grown man with his own children and grandchildren, decides to make contact with his lost father, the story unfolds with dramatic results.

It’s unknown how many Canadian children were born during 1939 and 1946 to unwed mothers during and after the war, but it is estimated to be near 25,000. They often remained in the UK not knowing their fathers and being maligned by a society that was prejudiced against single motherhood.

Famous musician, Erik Clapton, was one of those lost war children.

Blicq knows only too well the time and sentiment of the era. He was a navigator in a Mosquito bomber during the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force and he also took part in a mass evacuation of children from the UK during the war. Blicq was originally from Guernsey, a Channel island off the English coast before moving to Winnipeg and having children of his own that live in Gimli.

“How Closureis finally achieved makes this a gripping drama of four generations and how the youngest can bring out the best in the oldest,” concluded Blicq.