An electrical explosion, South Wales, 1979: six men are trapped in the mine. What begins as light banter saturated with camaraderie, contemporary pop culture and masculine bravado, gradually splinters into desperation and isolation as time drags on and escape becomes less tangible. There is an undeniable tension between the stalemate of the miners' situation and the fundamental change going on above ground. The Thatcher years loom ahead, and coupled with an ever-increasing claustrophobic atmosphere, an ominousness feeling appears onstage: even if they manage to get out of the mine, they may in time be out of a job.
The physical exhaustion of the miners is superbly executed by the cast, who together make a strong ensemble. Yet it is the emotional exhaustion that gets the best of the miners, and the subtlety and vulnerability Urch writes into the piece creates a complex portrayal of masculinity which questions preconceptions of the terms brother, son, and father. The second act drags slightly, but overall Land of Our Fathers is a well-crafted and touching piece that rallies behind a poignant message: ‘this is a community and we stand by those who enhance it’.
With his new play The Rolling Stone having recently received strong reviews, and with the success of Land Of Our Fathers, Chris Urch is marking himself as a promising and lasting talent.
|What||Land of our Fathers, FOUND111 Theatre review|
|Where||Found111, Charing Cross Road, , London, WC2H 0BE | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
08 Mar 16 – 19 Mar 16, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via Soho Theatre|