Battle at Little Creek

Three soldiers are hit by a mighty explosion. One man stands up and is confronted by two angels ready to lead him to heaven. Unfortunately they have shown up fifteen minutes early and so follows a long hour and a half of wandering the memories of the dying Will Brooks. The play charts his youth and how his life is affected by a blessing from an angel. At birth it was promised that Will would do great things. Throughout his life he aspires to greatness and the show raises interesting questions about our attitude to achievement. However, though the premise and script have a lot of potential, the show fails to live up to it.

The script is well written, verging between serious dialogue and funny surrealist sequences with dexterity. There are also several funny moments when naturalism is completely thrown out of the window. However, the original premise is underused; an ongoing commentary between the angel and Will, for instance, might have allowed for an interesting angle. Instead, the show is really just an episodic slog through Will’s life towards a foregone conclusion, which became fairly dull at times. However, the final ten minutes of the play are surprisingly poignant .

It must also be noted that the production itself was quite sloppy. Considering that the set only consisted of several stools the scene transitions were far too long and the noise from backstage almost constant.

A nice touch from the direction was having the actress playing Will’s guardian angel appear in the role of every other person who had had an important impact on his life, from a record producer to a pub manager. In general the acting was to a reasonable standard, but particular note should go to Ethan Fry and David Frederick who pulled off great chemistry between best friends Johnny and Steve, as well as a wonderfully committed and bizarre performance from Fry.

But even good acting could not redeem certain parts of this production. A particular low point was a rather gut-wrenchingly patriotic speech by the lead about the grandeur and honour of the military profession and about how noble it is to fight for your country . It sounded far too close to something Wilfred Owen would satirise. Had it been meant ironically it could have worked, but unfortunately it came across as genuine. Clunky moments like this in an already disappointing storyline unfortunately overshadowed the potential of this young company.

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The Blurb

Fifteen minutes to live? Soldier William Brooks reflects on his friends, family and fiancé (with help from empathetic angels). Cherry Creek High School from Colorado presents this funny, very unique, world premiere musical. Hysterical! Original! Touching!

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