Writer: Giuliano Crispini adapted by Clare Slater
Director: Bruce Guthrie
Reviewer: Elizabeth Vile
Lotty’s War tells the story of a young girl’s fight for survival, during World War II, on the occupied island of Guernsey and of the decisions she is forced to make regarding her own survival and that of her friends and her community. Over the years of the occupation she becomes a strong and independent woman who in the face of hardships never loses the love she has for her home and her father’s house.
Each of the three members of the cast gives focused and committed performances and give the audience three contrasting perspectives on the war. Lotty, played by Olivia Hallinan, is a feisty but vulnerable woman who together with her closest friend, Ben (Adam Gillen) are determined to save their home from the German invasion. On the other hand, Mark Letheren, as General Bernberg allows the audience an insight into the mind of a German soldier who is just following orders and loves his home just as much as Lottie &Ben. As the years progress and living conditions worsen the risks taken grow till eventually inevitable tragedy strikes.
The focus on Guernsey during the war is a new one to many members of the audience and there is a lot of potential within the writing to make a tense and gritty piece of theatre. Sadly for this reviewer it doesn’t quite reach its potential. The story, although interesting, at times lacks depth and clarity while the characters could have also been developed further. The relationship between Lotty and Ben is never completely believable and therefore weakens the impact of certain moments of the play.
Attention to detail is key in this production and the set is beautifully created to give a real feel of the period and adds the needed depth to the piece. The intimate feel of the set really supports the small cast and the naturalism of the storyline.
Overall an interesting and challenging piece of drama that highlights an often overlooked but incredibly important part of our history.
Runs until25th October 2014 and thentours