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Exciting time for Marham Military Wives Choir as Lionsgate film hits the big screen

With a new Lionsgate film hitting the big screen next month on the Military Wives Choirs, the Marham branch is hoping to perform in a Norfolk cinema on the opening night.

Produced by the director of The Full Monty, Military Wives will be in cinemas on March 6, writes Ben Hardy.

And Elizabeth Reeve, of Marham Military Wives Choir, said the film will be another joyful occasion for the local group.

Military Wives Choir
Military Wives Choir

On the best aspects of being involved with the choir, Mrs Reeve said: “Joy, camaraderie and the friends you make. There is an unspoken understanding and sisterhood to the choir.

“There are some ladies who have left us and gone on to other choirs, but once you have joined, you never really lose that feeling of belonging.”

Founded in January 2012, the choir has become affectionately known as the Marham Bluebirds in the local area.

The Military Wives Foundation helps women around the UK and around the world to share the enjoyment and pride that comes from singing together with more than 80 choirs set up across the UK.

Sam West and Laura Hall are the original members of the Marham Bluebirds choir, which is now led by Anna Watling. The Bluebirds were set up in the village on the back of the success of the original military choir.

Indeed, the Military Wives’ No.1 single Wherever You Are raised more than half a million pounds for SSAFA and The Royal British Legion in 2012.

On her own involvement with the Bluebirds, Mrs Reeve, who was born in Lancashire, said: “My husband came here after he was posted through to Marham and I found out about the choir through the Gareth Malone service.

“There is a singing and mental health connection, and for some it is the only way to get out of the house.”

For the production of the new Military Wives film, Mrs Reeve is hoping to arrange something with either the Odeon in Norwich or the Majestic in Lynn.

The Marham Military Wives raised over £500 for local charities in 2019 and has 40 members who are supported by the choir in a number of ways.

The choir hosts a Mind in Mental Health drop in on a weekly basis.

And the ethos of the group is to "sing, share and support".

"Believe me when you're 300 miles from home with only a four-year-old and a dog for company, they become your family, your network, your support," Mrs Reeve added.

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