Battle describes itself as a modern mystery play, and takes the audience on an intricately-plotted historical journey from 1066 to the present day: exploring how women just gather up their skirts and carry on as the men around them love… fight… die.
The imaginative script has shades of Mother Courage, a whiff of Christopher Fry and a hearty, dollopy nod to Euripides
Written by Saskia Wesnigk, the imaginative script has shades of Mother Courage, a whiff of Christopher Fry and a hearty, dollopy nod to Euripides. It shuttles forwards and backwards again from the French invasion of England, when William the Bastard so unceremoniously walloped Harold II with an arrow and snatched the infant country of England for himself. But they are just the first pair of toxic Williams and Harrys we are invited to explore: the Conqueror’s own sons, Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, the currently warring Cambridges and Sussexes are all encompassed in a piece which largely bypasses the more well-known antics of men and focuses instead on the women left to clean-up, cope and chorus about the chaos unfolding around them.
SwanWing Productions have created a neat little piece with a lot of heart and humanity. As the Fates snip snip snip at the strings tying these men to their little lives, the womenfolk plod on… smoking, baking, sewing, passing comment with a weary and cyclical inevitability conducted by Old Father Time himself. The four actors present with care and commitment and are so invested in their characterisations that it is impossible not to be infected by their passion for the subject material and those they are breathing life into.