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Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
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Set in the Falklands War, four British soldiers billet in a local farmhouse where they battle out the moral and political dilemma of orders to kill an injured American mercenary that they've dragged into the home. In theory it's a thought-provoking drama from Australian playwright Meredith Oakes. In practice, at least where this production's concerned, it gets bogged down by an over philosophising script and messy, at times shambolic, staging.

But maybe they're just having a bad night. On one occasion a picture fell off a wall and what started as some quick thinking improvisation by Lieutenant-Corporal Adam Ziller (Stanley Eldridge), ordering the timid Private Lee Finch (Alexander Wolfe) to 'pick it up' ended with it being clumsily bandied about before the insidious little thing somehow landed in front of the doorway for incoming actors to trample all over. It seemed that a humble poster had the power to bring about the downfall of the production.

This wasn't the only incident on the night I saw it as on more than one occasion poor delivery caused some lines to be spoken simultaneously. There are no sympathetic parts, save perhaps a smidgen for the boyish Finch, while Sergeant Toby Spiers (Ian Sharp) comes across as a wholly unconvincing soldier, not helped by a full-grown cuddly beard.

The towering Ziller is at least believable as the hard nut of the squad but in a script littered with abrupt expletives, in which he's required to deliver the majority, his aggression is far too caustic and uncomfortably overstated.

You would have thought an element of warmth would come from Sandra (Georgina Sutton), who at first frequently protests at the presence of the soldiers who have commandeered her cottage, but who confesses that her decision to move there was spurred by the desire to 'get away from all the wogs' and later develops an inexplicable desire for Ziller.

Ex-EastEnders star Charlie Clements as Private Mick Pike is billed as the top draw but he's the most unnoticeable of the lot, even more so than Larry (Mawgan Gyles) who spends the best part of the entire show playing dead right in the middle of all the action. Seeing Faith felt, pure and simple, like a waste of time.

- Will Stone


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