At the Southwark Playhouse, the cast of 6 performers under the direction of Nicky Allpress jovially present the ghastly spectre of destruction and death. Mud, whizz-bangs, mustard gas and the Generals’ stubborn hubris, conspire to ensure that the casualty numbers (revealed through projections, similarly to the original production) are heartbreakingly
The show’s jaunty WWI songs including: It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and the crowd-pleasing tongue-twister Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts which are doused in irony with their unrelenting upbeatness, soon give way to sadder and more reflective tunes like Roses of Picardy and Keep The Home Fires Burning as the casualty numbers mount. Combined, these provide the company with considerable material to get their teeth into and each of the cast members (Christopher Arkeston, Tom Crabtree, Harry Curley, Alice E Mayer, Chioma Uma and Euan Wilson) demonstrate musical skills and performance chops, delivering oodles of energy in a relatively tight playing area.
What would General Haig have made of his position and decision-making being unpicked and laid-bare? No-one cares! Deluded warmongers are only good for one thing these days, and that is to remind ourselves that stubborn idiocy when combined with influence and given power, make for a supremely dangerous combination.