The audience, subdued by the sheer power of the writing and the mastery of the performances, sits seemingly stunned by what they are hearing, but we all chose to see this play because we have a need to know and the actors to see if they can pull it off.
We certainly are given a fair range of material to give us an insight into the rank stench, the rats, lice, endless rain, bodies in the trenches, yearning for home, the horrible wounds and ghastly deaths, the vile, cruel, terrifying gas and the forever present mud – thick, slimy, stinking, clinging, drowning mud.
You never know when you see something about war how you’re going to turn out in the end. If it’s an American film, for instance, you might feel uplifted full of that Yankee Doodly dum, glory, honour, country and all that. Not this show.
The two young actors, who also wrote this play, carry it along convincingly and well and their skills at shadowgraphy add another very effective dimension to theatre arts which has faded from the repertoire over the years but makes a welcome return in this play.
This is a story without an end. No, it’s two stories, one that’s sad because its protagonist takes a dubious path knowing that with it goes his integrity and the other because the odds are so against success and a life worth living for a young woman who deserves a chance.
A voice sang the first line of a song “Waiting for a train” and so we knew where we were, what she was doing and, without introduction and in the most informal way, Molly Taylor told us her story.