Colab Factory, London – until 10 June 2018
Going back to For King and Country, I was slightly wary that it wouldn’t work as well a second time. You can never go back they say, and the essential elements of the drama were so strong and surprising the first time around, how would I react knowing roughly where we were headed?
I needn’t have worried. It was every bit as good as I remembered from my last visit. And just in the same way you can never stand in the same river twice, with a show this audience-driven, you will always have a different experience.
As before, the show zips along. I had a different role as Propaganda Minister this time, which meant I saw less of the action overall but had a more concentrated role. Again, mixing it up definitely added to the refreshing of the experience.
There were additional cast members this time – including dedicated bar staff – which allowed the actors more time and ability to fulfill all of their duties and roles. At each point, they have to make sometimes very snap judgements about how to follow the direction of the audience while also ensuring they land the play. The depth of their knowledge of their characters shines through as they manage this process seamlessly delivering complete entertainment with just the right balance of empowerment and direction.
I was thrilled to find that going back to For King and Country was just as rewarding as visiting for the first time. What was particularly interesting was how challenging it was to revisit the moral dilemmas the play presents you with. Even though some of them I had already thought through once, a different audience, providing different arguments, and creating a different scenario put a different gloss on them each time.
If you haven’t seen For King and Country – go. If you have – go back.