RSC's Days Of Significance
25 November 2009 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews
Roy Williams’ new play from the RSC about the trials and tribulations of a group of young people and how they are affected by the war in could not have come at a better time, as the government investigation into events is taking place right now. Iraq We first meet the main characters on a typical drink-fuelled night out and this works tremendously well, as the war seems to be on the streets as violence and jealousy rear their ugly heads, as the group use alcohol to press their self destruct buttons. Jamie ( George Rainsford), Ben ( Toby Wharton) and Tony ( Danny Dalton) are about to join up and we watch in awe as these boys naively expect adventure and thrills and spills; gradually facing up to the fact that the first casualty of war is truth. The community at home wait and wonder, and revelations and skeletons in closets are unearthed when the soldiers return home, to a far from excited heroes' welcome, that we often view via the media. Where Williams excels is that fact that he subverts many stereotypes. Instead of focusing on families of the boys, he shows us their friends and girlfriends – as they too battle with the fact that these lads will not be the same when they arrive back on terra firma. Rainsford is remarkable as Jamie; the fighter on home turf on a Saturday night, yet a frightened little boy in . This actor gives a chameleon-like turn, conveying his character’s tortured mind incredibly well. Iraq
He is matched by
Joanna Horton as Hannah, his girlfriend who wants her education and does not want this war in her head. David Kennedy is also great as her father figure, Lenny. Some of the characters are slightly underwritten; Luke Norris delivers an emotive performance as Dan – the best friend who is anti war, but the character’s only purpose seems is to be as a binary opposite, on which to frame an argument. Two performers
, [Simon Harrison] and
Sandy Foster though, do bring much needed light relief as Steve & Clare the want-for-nothing loyal couple from hell. Maria Aberg keeps the tension flowing and during the battle scenes you do feel a sense of urgency and sheer panic, despite the fact that often the message is being delivered in several scenes.
This is because Williams relies too heavily on soap opera techniques to raise a reaction from his audience. So much so, that many of the younger audience members on the night I attended gasped and mocked characters openly, as if they were watching television at home.
But Days Of Significance has a powerful story to tell and any faults in the script are carried home and dry by this excellent cast, leading to a gripping conclusion that certainly leaves you talking.
- by Glenn Meads Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
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