The Trench @ Southwark Playhouse*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/the-trench/
Booking until: 17th November 2018
Production Photos by: Rah Petherbridge

Having seen recent success with their immersive production of Alice’s Adventures Underground, theatre company Les Enfant Terribles have brought their production of The Trench to London. The play follows a miner called Bert who goes on a mystical trip after being caught in a World War One bomb explosion. He, then, encounters a beast and has to go through three missions before he’s allowed out.

5. THE TRENCH. Oliver Lansley - ©Rah Petherbridge Photography

The show was written by Oliver Lansley who, not only is the Artistic Director of the company, but he also plays the main character Bert. While he gives a very real and emotionally charged performance as Bert, the literary style of the dialogue didn’t engage me at all. More often than not, the production felt more like an audiobook and I felt like I was being fed a story rather than shown one. On top of that, there’s musical interludes by Alexander Wolfe. Although they were good enough songs to sound like they could’ve been on an album by The Fray, I felt they weren’t really that needed as it messed up the flow of the piece. That being said, the musical underscoring and sound effects were incorporated better and made the piece more lively.

14. THE TRENCH. Alexander Wolfe, James Hastings...©Rah Petherbridge Photography.

The set design by Samuel Wyer is transformative and really is quite magical in some scenes. But the real stars of the show are the unbelievably creative puppets created by Naomi Oppenheim and Maia Kirkman-Richards. Matched with a wonderful performance by Edward Cartwright, the puppets truly feel alive and thriving in this production.

8. THE TRENCH - ©Rah Petherbridge Photography

Overall thoughts? Luckily the production has a short run time of 70 minutes because the writing style of the dialogue is enough to send you to sleep. However, if you must, go for the puppets.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

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