'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

In Conflict Review

In Conflict

It is now over five years since British and American troops entered Iraq, and it remains a hot topic at the Fringe. ‘In Conflict’ voices the results of interviews carried out with American veterans returning from Iraq and provides a mouthpiece for many opinions and events overlooked by the media; issues such post-traumatic stress, attitudes to America and homosexuality in the army are all explored.
The show presents some very poignant and shocking monologues, and gives fascinating incites into the veterans motivation, fears and life after the fighting. Suicide, substance abuse, as well as amputations are all discussed.

The numerous anecdotes create a great collage of perspectives, and the show becomes less about the events of Iraq, and more about how the war has touched individuals involved. As a result the play never strays into preachy political territory (George Bush is both praised and condemned) which is a welcome change.
Unfortunately, the monologues are poorly held together by a lack of an overall structure or focus to the show. The material is also suffers from a static and repetitive format, and there is little attempt at exploring other avenues of communication or presentation. These factors are exacerbated by what amounts to a very lengthy performance, and while the idea of presenting the opinions of veterans is an admirable one, the show is let down by a lack of narrative and imagination.

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