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Friend or Foe

Friend or Foe is an exciting and energy-packed new musical by Ruth Lusby-Yentis and Tim Brewster, based on a children’s story by Michael Morpurgo, ex-children’s laureate and author of War Horse.

David and his mother say goodbye at the stationAt the height of the Second World War blitz, two London schoolboys, David and Tucky, are evacuated with their schoolmates to peaceful North Devon. There a home is found for them with genial farmer Jerry Reynolds. Their new life in the country appears settled and promising, although a first meeting with local children at the village school proves far from harmonious.

David and Tucky tell the Home Guard officers what they saw One evening, whilst watching the glow of a distant air raid from their bedroom window, the boys see a damaged German bomber descending over the moor. Certain that it must have crashed nearby, they tell Mr Reynolds, who alerts the Home Guard. “Invasion fever” ensues as a search is organised, but no trace of the aircraft is found, and the villagers decide that the boys have imagined the sighting, or deliberately lied.

The two German airmenSure their eyes haven’t deceived them, they decide to make another search alone. On the verge of discovering evidence of the crash, David falls into deep water and almost drowns, but at the last moment is rescued by a German airman. He and his injured co-pilot intend to escape back to Germany, but need food and medicine. The boys face a dilemma: whether to turn the airmen in, or to repay the debt they owe by helping them. David, whose father has been killed a year previously, is for handing them in, but Tucky is convinced that the debt must be settled, and questions the line drawn between friend or foe.