This Earth

One soldier’s patriotism, as he battles both for his country and with himself, is pushed to the breaking point in this clever and current piece of new writing. This Earth is about an unnamed war being fought for an unknown cause, and the actors in this piece succeed in portraying both the alienation of war and its direct effect on the individual as the play progresses. However, a lack of both experience and direction undermines the production as a whole.

A lack of both experience and direction undermines the production as a whole

This play moves between a number of time frames, handled deftly by Alex, our protagonist, who moves from pre-war times to the bunker itself with ease. We see both his friendship with his two oldest friends, and the new friendship developing with his bunkmate Oscar, and this offers a fitting comparison of pre- and post-war life. Oscar, the loveable and kind hearted soldier, went to war at just sixteen, and his naivety is portrayed beautifully in this piece.

Despite this, there are many points when the acting is either lacklustre or over the top, not meeting a comfortable middle ground. It's often difficult to believe in the effect the war is having on these young lives. The actors feel the need to shout to convey emotion, which undermine any belief in the emotion itself. Their body language also betrays them, as they move without purpose onstage and don't ground themselves when making important points.

Overall, this was a brave attempt at conveying the lives of people who have grown up knowing of nothing but war. In keeping the reason behind the warfare from the audience, it also calls into question the idea of war as a whole, and not just one specific circumstance. Despite this, it's difficult at times to believe in what the actors were saying, as they offer so little information about the cause for which they're fighting.

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Performances

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The Blurb

Trapped underground amidst a war with a long-forgotten cause, a soldier’s patriotism is pushed to breaking point. With nothing to survive on but memories, Alex is forced to relive life before the conflict and face the realisation that the people and places we love may not be as concrete as they seem. The personal and the political collide in a story about loyalty, violence and broken promises.

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