Elizabeth Peasley

Blue Remembered Hills at Union Theatre

Rural England, summer 1943. The world is at war and seven children are playing out for the day.

Blue Remembered Hills at Union Theatre
Laura Hooper, Carol Robb, Dan Paton (Stagephoto)

The startling fact of this play is that the all children are played by adults with great skill and ease, every gesture of foot and face is expertly enacted by these talented actors from fandango theatre company. All of them are faultless in their characters.

The period detail and staging is just right; there are gas masks, brownie uniforms, cowboy outfits, squirrels chased, children playing at keeping house, 'Donald Duck' used as a tease and collecting pennies from returned jam jars. There are pretend prisoner war games and mock fights between the boys and the creeping feeling that the 'mock' cruelty is going to end in tears. It does but in a way that none of the children wants and is extremely tragic.

The echoes of childhood travel to adulthood in unpredictable ways. In this play they are profound and an oppression is present which can be strongly felt. The performance is a hard hitting message for adults in ambiguous childlike wrappings.

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