Review: Forgotten Voices

Forgot Voices Pic: Comp
Forgot Voices Pic: Comp
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IF it wasn’t for the storytellers’ vocabulary and the clearly dated cinematic imagery, you’d be forgiven for thinking Malcolm McKay’s play concerning the First World War was about any war currently being waged around the world.

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Pleasance courtyard

Yes, a hundred years on since the Great War and it seems we’ve learned very little at all. In fact, we seem condemned to repeat it.

Based upon the real-life testimonies of those who lived through 1914-1918 in Max Arthur’s book, Forgotten Voices cleverly intertwines five unrelated people’s accounts (Robert Vaughn is one of the speakers at this performance) to form a fluid, utterly gripping description of everything: from life as a soldier in the trenches to newly-wed housewives worrying if their husbands will ever return home.

You can almost smell the mustard gas, taste the tears, and - thanks to the impressive surround sound system – feel disorientated by the blast of whooshing mortar shells.

It’s horrific yet romantic, compelling yet repulsive. It is, after all, war. However, there’s no sense of British Imperialism here, no taunts of ‘getting it up the gerries’, either.

No. Forgotten Voices is simply about normal, everyday people and how the pathetic actions of an elite few can inflict such pain and suffering on all of us.

Until Monday