The Good Scout (4 stars)

The Good Scout

Taggart writer Glenn Chandler's fascinating tale about the Nazi Youth's visit to Britain before WWII

In 1938, a handful of the Hitler Youth did a foreign exchange programme with the families of Boy Scouts in the British countryside. It's a lesser-known but true story that Taggart writer Glenn Chandler landed upon during a research spree for new material. And The Good Scout is the response to that bizarre discovery: a queer reimagining of what might've happened during that trip shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

The Good Scout creates a sort of detective game for the audience: with the impending war, every sentence and iteration from the two visiting Hitler Youth boys may offer clues about Germany's forthcoming wartime moves. Will they reveal Hitler's plans? Or are they just visiting as spies? Actors Clementhe Lohr and Simon Stache both intelligently realise the inevitable fears and anxieties of the German youngsters as international tensions increase.

Chandler promises romance between the British and German boys and delivers on that promise with a few tasteful kissing scenes, but perhaps they're a little too tasteful; staging something racier may have helped express the carnal desire that connects these two seemingly polarised tribes that ultimately share a human connection.

It's refreshing that The Good Scout evades any sort of weighty political message in favour of a human one: the show focuses on celebrating this brief moment the Germans and Britons bonded, months before the deadly outbreak of war tore them apart.

TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 24 Aug, 8.20pm, £12 (£10).

The Good Scout

  • 4 stars

Boys of the Empire Productions Inspired by true events. In the 1930s, Baden-Powell and Von Ribbentrop, Hitler's ambassador, decreed that British boy scouts and Hitler Youth should learn from one another. In Bassington, England, the local troop play host to a cycling party of Hitlerjugend – but are the German boys…

Comments

1. Marie Erwood MBE21 Aug 2019, 12:19am Report

The Good Scout was a superb piece of entertainment, weaving the historical narrative into a genuinely human context. A very strong cast with no weak links, it held me from start to finish, and moved me deeply to see the young men struggle with their internal demons. As a historian myself it was fascinating to shine a light from a new perspective on what could be a well trodden path. Well done to Glenn Chandler, cast and crew, it was well worth a journey from Hertfordshire just to see this play. And well done to the actors who were interrupted on stage by an unpleasant bigot, but carried on seamlessly.

Post a comment

RSS feed of these comments