‘Some stunning moments worth waiting for’: THE TRENCH – Southwark Playhouse

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Southwark Playhouse, London – until 17 November 2018
Guest reviewer: Pearl Esfahani

Les Enfant TerriblesThe Trench follows the story of Bert, an older man wanting to serve his country during WWI, and is assigned the task of digging for explosives under No Man’s Land. Fans of guitar-led singer-songwriters will enjoy Alexander Wolfe’s original soundtrack, and songs interjected throughout. Entirely in verse, it’s not until our protagonist finds his voice that the story really comes into its own.

Co-director Oliver Lansley marries vocal and physical with muscularity. Of course, the visual storytelling is where the company excels. From simple sequences concisely showing the development of friendship to the many uses of a plank of wood, and projections. Using these tools to change the audience’s perspective of what we’re seeing is particularly satisfying.

A slick ensemble takes us into a magical world beneath the trenches as we meet various puppet creatures not of this world, alongside Bert’s quest to find his way to the light. It’s quite a feat to tie in so many different techniques in one show, and it isn’t always perfectly cohesive, nevertheless, it is ultimately a tale of the cycles of life and death with some stunning moments worth waiting for.

Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
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Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.

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