presented by Theatre in the Quarter
review submitted by Michaela Pschierer-Barnfather
“Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” when the choir intoned the lines of the title song in German it brought me, as a native German speaker, to the brink of tears.
It was the culmination of a truly inspired and delightful show, that combined classy acting, understated, yet inventive props, clever stage management, and harmonious tunes.
The play opens with two shots being fired as we follow the Cheshire regiment on its way to France, Belgium and to the German border. All the while glimpsing into the lives of family left behind.
The cast, Aled Bidder, Hannah Good, Rhys Isaac-Jones and Tom Lincoln swap into different characters seamlessly and with ease and they bring the stage alive with minimalist props. A pair of sticks is transformed into a gun, then a bedframe and a log fire.
Judith Croft has created a brilliant background set: a transparent background onto which different scenes and landscapes were projected, but which also allowed for the actors to stand behind and be seen through a veil, speaking from the behind so to say. (see picture).
The contrast between the very low tech props, the professional lighting and background setting is very striking and works well.
The music, by Matt Baker, was weaved nicely into the play. The songs were worked into the play harmoniously, with some very witty lyrics.
There was no “big drama” no heroes, no villains, just the everyday real drama of a world at war, which somehow brought the grim reality much closer to home.
Set in the beautiful St Mary’s Centre and in remembrance of The Great War- Theatre in the Quarter- have once again outdone themselves!
The musical is touring all through Cheshire until December 6th- so catch it while you can! see http://www.theatreinthequarter.co.uk
Written by Helen Newall with original music by Matt Baker.
Directed by Emma Lucia and designed by Judith Croft.
Photos by: Andrew Billington.