From: Wednesday, 30th May 2007
To: Saturday, 7 July 2007
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Adapted from Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur.. The hopeful hysteria of recruitment; the epic slaughter of the Somme; the reeking, relentless mud of Paschendale; the silent, choking gas; the hunger at home, and the stunned and muted joy of victory; all the elation, fear and suffering of this catastrophic era is recalled by five characters (four men and a woman), in a powerful distillation of original, authentic witness statements given to researchers at the Imperial War Museum in the 1960ís. Their collective narratives create a harrowing echo from history that takes us through each bloodied step of the Great War through the eyes and hearts of those who fought it.
4 June 2007
Forgotten Voices is adapted by writer/director Malcolm McKay from Max Arthurís best-selling non-fiction tapestry of interviews with survivors of the Great War, recorded for the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum, and first published five years ago.
McKay invents his own new characters and places them in an ante-room at the museum, a large polished arena with three anonymous benches backed by a huge reproduction of powerful painting by John Singer Sargent of badly gassed soldiers being led bandaged and defeated from the trenches; this painting, and the Bach cello solo that seems to describe its agony and stark poignancy, is by far the most fascinating element in the show.
Using Arthurís interview material, McKayís new characters are pieced together in snippets, but they donít really interact; they just each have their say, each taking polite turns, and thereís no dramatic propulsion to the evening. As the ranks are represented by a puk...
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