Set in the Channel Islands during the Nazi German Occupation, Sedition is the forbidden love story of a German soldier and a young islander, whose romance blossoms despite the risk for the lives of family and friends. With subplots of rationing and stowaways, Eva and Friedrich’s burgeoning love soon becomes too difficult to maintain and, as heads begin to turn in the community, the sense of Eva’s danger intensifies.
As indicated by the projected dates on the back wall, the story begins on the 7th September 1940, with Friedrich first catching sight of his eventual lover and tracks the affair’s progress over the next few years of occupation. Well-directed so that the family scenes are enacted next to the lovers’ bedroom, the sense of Eva’s betrayal is effectively conveyed as she prioritises her relationship over the safety of her parents and little sister. However, some of the symbolic movements, such as the casts’ repetitive head turning and glaring at the audience, were too stylised and, instead of conveying the sense of judgement felt for traitors, only served to disrupt the flow of the plot. The elements of physical theatre, such as Eva’s capture by the other islanders, seemed out of place with the realistic style of the rest of the play.
Whilst the performance of the main characters was very touching, particularly Eva’s final scene with Friedrich, some of the additional characters seemed a bit lost and superfluous. A compelling story about the Second World War, Sedition is informative and moving, but at times its attempts at symbolism detract from the harrowing plot.