Doreen Hawkins

Doreen Hawkins

Drury Lane to Dimapur – Wartime Adventures of an Actress

Doreen Lawrence, a high-spirited young actress from Southampton, found the war a liberation, taking her to Africa, India and Burma as a member of ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association).
Starting out in London during the Blitz, she then joined the India Repertory Company, the first company to be sent abroad to perform a repertoire of plays rather than musical acts.
Within days of arriving in Bombay, she met her future husband, Jack Hawkins, already an established star and in charge of ENSA in the Far East.
Doreen’s highly entertaining book takes us on a journey in the company of such theatrical luminaries as John Gielgud, Noel Coward, Joyce Grenfell, Edith Evans and Gracie Fields. Her lifestyle was, however, not one of stardom but of very basic daily life on the road, lugging props, scenery and baggage around in heat and humidity, not to mention interminable waits at railway stations.