Love Your Soldiers @ Studio – 4th November
Richard Wilson is undoubtedly best known for his turn as Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave – but in recent years much of his time has been spent both acting and directing in theatres across the UK.
Love Your Soldiers is written by Robin Hooper and directed by Wilson, and tells the story of two soldiers dispatched to Afghanistan and their 'shared' girlfriend back home. The dialogue here is rapid-fire and the setting shifts back and forth between Helmand and Hackney. Using hard-hitting drama, Hooper examines the repercussions of military life on everyday relationships, and the Crucible's Studio theatre creates a close, immersive atmosphere, making these scenes all the more impactful. There are sound effects galore, and two big screens add Skype conversations and CCTV footage to the mix – all in all it's a rich sensory experience.
Certain points in Love Your Soldiers could be somewhat distressing, but Wilson's deft comedic touch is ever-present, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for both laughter and contemplation on the effect the Afghanistan War has had on British society.
Words: Joe E. Allen