Posts Tagged ‘Lola Arias’


Theatre has always told true stories. In recent years, it’s often taken the form of ‘verbatim’ theatre, ‘tribunal’ plays, verbatim musicals and, with Committee recently at the Donmar, a hybrid of all three. This piece breaks new ground again by placing six soldiers from both sides of the Falklands war on stage to tell their stories from before the conflict to the present day. I found Lola Arias production very powerful.

There are three Argentinians, two English and a Gurka. They tell us about how they came to be in their respective army / navy roles, their training and deployment, their experience of war and post-war life. Sometimes it’s direct to the audience in their own language, with surtitles in the other, sometimes it’s scenes re-enacted. There are projections and sounds and they even become a rock band. Over one-hundred minutes we hear their views, and those of their countrymen, of the war, glimpse the traumatic events they experienced and begin to understand the long-term affects.

Some have done very positive things since, but they haven’t entirely shaken off the negative impact. The process of rehearsing and making the play was clearly therapeutic. The most moving aspect is the fact that these pawns in someone else’s game have built positive relationships with people they once called the enemy and bonded during the development of the piece.

It’s often uncomfortable viewing, but it struck me as frank and honest, an objective attempt to show war from the perspective of the combatants rather than the countries, governments and leaders, and ultimately hopeful. Ground-breaking theatre indeed.

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