Falkland: The War the World Forgot

Falkland opens with a projected collage of imagery from the time of the Falkands war – punk rock, Brezhnev, Pacman, the Brixton riots, the wedding of Charles and Diana. This is what the UK was thinking about. Not many people even knew where the Falklands were.

With a minimal set, back projections and two fine actors, this tale of 'the war the world forgot' is more moving for the ordinariness of the characters who tell the story.

We then move on. A middle-aged and slightly lame shepherd, Gideon, tends his sheep in the Falkland Islands on a wintry day in 1981, at the start of the 'conflict'. He chats to a young Royal Marine, Fitz, who is digging a trench on the shepherd’s land. They seem to have nothing in common. But Gideon is the son of immigrants who came to the Falklands to escape the dangers of war, having experienced the blitz in London in World War Two. Fitz is from Belfast and enlisted to escape the conflict in Northern Ireland. Both then, in their own way, are refugees from conflict. But, as becomes clear, nowhere in the world is safe. The sleepy Falkland Islands must surely have seemed the the safest place on earth. It might be said that there was nothing there, except sheep. And 'sovereignty'.

Were Argentina and the UK fighting over a relatively insignificant piece of land? Were the islanders politically important? No, it was a question of principle, of sovereignty. As Gideon’s indigenous Falklander wife points out, the British soldiers were just boys, the Argentinian soldiers were just boys. 'It’s boys fighting boys. Where are the adults?'

'Why are we fighting?' she asks. 'For a Union Jack?' But politicians are not adults either, particularly Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who treats the war as political currency. And nor are the press – The Sun declares 'Gotcha!' when an Argentinian ship is torpedoed and sunk.

The character of Gideon is played with subdued and subtle passion by Luke Tudball whilst his wife (and everyone else) is played by Heather Bagnall. Such is the theatrical nature of this play that it enhances rather than detracts from the piece that she also plays the part of Fitz, the young Royal Marine, and also, at the end, his commanding officer.

With a minimal set, back projections and two fine actors, this tale of 'the war the world forgot' is more moving for the ordinariness of the characters who tell the story. It is clear from the telling that borders are notional and wars are ideological. Fathers and grandfathers have gone to war to save their children from ever having to do the same. But in vain. That 'only' 893 people died in this war didn’t make the carnage in those battles any less obscenely traumatic for those who witnessed it.

Fitz thought he was digging a trench, but was he digging his own gave? With quiet humanity and the poignant use of the small (and usually forgotten) moments of human heroism, Falkland marks a moment in history that is a lesson we should all learn. A lesson consistently ignored.

Reviews by Sebastian Beaumont

The Warren: Theatre Box

The Promised Land

Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco

Jack Cray: The Fittest Guy on the Street

Rialto Theatre



Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Under the starry blanket of night, two unlikely friends, a young soldier and a curmudgeonly farmer, find new camaraderie as the big show plays out in the theatre of war around them. Bitter conflict, questionable politics and moral debate engage us in a traumatic but necessary journey through the lives of the two men, their families, and the many twists and turns they encounter on the road to redemption. Inspired by real events and real people, incorporating archival news, historical photography, and multimedia, 'Falkland' highlights and honours the extraordinary actions of ordinary people.

Most Popular See More

Les Misérables: The Staged Concert

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wonderment Magic & Illusion

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets