A poignant and well-researched production, SmallWaR's use of authentic quotes and transcripts from real soldiers and nurses deployed at war made Valentijn Dhaenens' task a difficult and profound one. By creating multiple characters, which he played via pre-recorded video projections and audio, Dhaenen brought to life many different stories - each one moving in its own unique way. The small adjustments Dhaenen made to represent each character were subtle and effective. Just enough to understand what he was doing, but never over the top. The subject matter of SmallWaR was difficult and at times the emotional content of the piece was gratuitous and even dramatized. This, however, is justified considering the difficulty level of what Dhaenen was attempting, and the brutality and horror of what he was describing - all of it found in real transcripts created from real experiences.
SmallWaR, co-produced by SKaGeN (Belgium), Richard Jordan Productions & Theatre Royal Plymouth (UK), is part of the CeaseFire Series presented by the Cultch.
Tickets at: https://thecultch.com/events/smallwar/
~ reviewed by Madisen Steele
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