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Love Your Soldiers - Crucible Studio

Published by: Paul Tyree on 5th Nov 2013 | View all blogs by Paul Tyree


'Love Your Soldiers' - Review by Paul Tyree
Directed by Richard Wilson, Written by Robin Hooper.

This new play by Robin Hooper concerns two brothers fighting in Afghanistan examining their relationships both with girlfriends, family and some of the Afghan people.

Richard Wilson has once again directed a piece of theatre with a deft touch and there is much about his direction and staging that should be commended.

Unfortunately it is in the script and some of the acting that this new piece of theatre really falls apart. Whilst the dialogue is mainly fine many of the plot twists are either signposted a mile off or are just plain ludicrous.

The central story conerns Ken, fighting overseas with his brother and missing his girlfriend Gemma. Unbeknownst to him she is also conducting a love affair with his brother, Roly. On one patrol Ken has a bad back (I kid you not) and so his brother takes his place. Unfortunately his brother is then blown up by a roadside bomb, losing both his legs and his manhood. (Some might say he deserved it).

Both brothers conveniently have an Afghanistany friend called Rashid back in Britain who is both a confidant and a moral sounding board for both brothers and Gemma. When Roly comes back to Britain for rehabilitation
Gemma says she wants to be with him and feeling sorry for his loss of manhood that she's carrying his baby.

Later we find out that this is a lie and it's actually Ken's baby. Ken eventually discovers the betrayel before returning to afghanistan and eventually being killed.

Charlotte Beumont is excellent in a thankless part as the girlfriend and Chris Leak as Ken makes a charming enough lead. Jordan Bright who plays Roly is a disabled actor missing both his legs. Whilst you can understand
the desire to cast a disabled actor, unfortunately in this case it does not come off. Mr Bright is not a strong enough actor yet to carry this part through with any sort of conviction.

Best of all is Chris Reilly as Ken's commanding officer. He acts with conviction and brings a real sense of belief and drama to the part. Also excellent is Nabil Elouahabi as Rashid. His character is the moral centre of
the story and portrays the Afghan people well, until he is totally undermined by a plot twist towards the end of the play.

Unfortunately, even though most of the actors do their best and the direction is excellent this is one of the weakest pieces of theatre I've seen at the Crucible for a very long time. Whilst there is much about it that
should be applauded, unfortunately a lot of the writing does seem very naive indeed. One to miss!

Tue 5 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Wed 6 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Thu 7 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Thu 7 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Fri 8 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Sat 9 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Sat 9 Nov 7:45pm   £18.00* Book Tickets
Tue 12 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Wed 13 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Thu 14 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Thu 14 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Fri 15 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Sat 16 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Sat 16 Nov 7:45pm   £18.00* Book Tickets
Tue 19 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Wed 20 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Thu 21 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Thu 21 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Fri 22 Nov 7:45pm   £15.00* Book Tickets
Sat 23 Nov 2:15pm   £13.00* Book Tickets
Sat 23 Nov 7:45pm   £18.00* Book Tickets


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Ooof! It's such a shame when one element of a production lets it down like that. One of the exciting things about taking part in and (to a slightly lesser extent) watching live theatre is that so many things can go wrong!! When things all go well, even as an audience member, I get a feeling of elation as "I was there" when it all went right! I was part of that! The more risks a company take, by pushing the boundaries of possibility in production, casting, interpretation, innovation ... the more elated I am when I see it go well.

    What I'm tying to say, is that when one thing goes wrong like this it only goes to prove what a delicate balance every live stage production is ... one weak element can bring the whole show down.

    So now I want to see another show so that I can be there when it goes right!
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