Motherland

Fri 31st October – Sun 2nd November 2014

reviews

Courtney Marie Cliffe

at 17:26 on 2nd Nov 2014

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Although Castle Theatre Company’s ‘ Motherland’ has a simplistic format, its emotional strength is anything but. Tackling today’s relevant political issues, the play was eloquently staged, and showed war from the viewpoint of female civilians - a side of war that is rarely voiced. The verbatim was voiced beautifully and at moments I was moved by the struggles and warmth of the women staged before me.

Castle Theatre Company's actors showed maturity and talent as they successfully grappled with complex and challenging issues. The play successfully voiced the stories, thoughts and emotions of the mothers, wives and girlfriends of soldiers who have returned, died in or were injured in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The relevance of this in today’s political and social context is striking as we ourselves teeter on the edge of war.

The interview format of the play alluded to the broken fourth wall and placed these characters in the room with us - with striking and gripping consequences. The female cast proved their skills as they bought to life complex characters with varying emotional states. It was apparent that great thought and deliberation had gone into not only the staging, but also to each character’s emotional state, which lead to a rewardingly clear and coherent insight into each character.

At times I found myself forgetting that this was a university-level production and not a professional performance. Worth the entry price, the play is a must-see for anyone interested not only in the political aspects of this play but also for anyone looking to experience the lives of people who could be your neighbour, your mother, your sister or a stranger on the street. The play highlights that the consequences of war reach far beyond the battlefield, stretching to people outside of the military and indeed into the lives of those left behind.

Overall, the play was a successful adaptation of Steve Gilroy’s play, as it was both emotionally striking and intellectually probing.

Is it worth seeing? Definitely. Just remember your tissues!

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