The jingoistic chimes of 'Who's for the Game?' and the desolate broken rhymes of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon haunt Owen Sheer's lyrical play about three modern day soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
After impressing at Bristol's Old Vic, Pink Mist brings the stipped back story of three young men destroyed by war to London's Bush Theatre. Sound effects, a bare stage and sytlised chorography vivify the series of monologue and occasional moments of dialogue. The story of three West Country boys -- Arthur, Taff and Hads -- was inspired by Sheers' interviews with real life wounded soldiers.
Their progression from minimal prospects and boozy nights out in The Shire to the brutality of life on the frontline is relayed through rthymic, rich verse. We are told, rather than shown. The action comes in the language, and ripples out through dance-like movements performed by the rest of the cast in unison. The spoken verse and simultanous movements feels a bit like a drama school warm up exercise at first -- but as the story becomes increasingly tense, the production escalates into balletic dance and dubstep beats.
The title Pink Mist, for all its atmpospheric impact, actually refers to the fine blood spray that fills the air when people are bombed. This combination of beauty and horror shapes the narrative arc of the play. It's harrowing stuff. But what makes Sheers' script so touching is the way in which the sort of stories that are so often in the news are made so tender and alive.
|What||Pink Mist, Bush Theatre review|
|Where||Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Shepherd's Bush Market (underground)|
26 Jan 16 – 13 Feb 16, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£15 - £20|
|Website||Click here to book via Bush Theatre|