Forgotten Voices

The Great War remembered

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This article is from 2007.

What might seem familiar to one generation often seems a surprising omission to the next, so actress Belinda Lang, who you might remember from the 90s television series (or not, if you’re very young) 2.4 Children makes a valid point about Forgotten Voices. This new adaptation of Max Arthur’s book by Malcolm McKay uses actual transcripts of survivors of the First World War, who were interviewed by the officials at the Imperial War Museum in their old age.

Some of the stories of mud, pointless attacks, football across no man’s land during an unofficial armistice and the culpable naiveté of the officers in command might seem familiar, yet there’s a function they can fulfil. ‘There have been parties of children and young people in to see the play, who knew nothing of this war,’ says Lang. ‘Their response to what we’re doing has been amazing.’ But there’s more for audiences of an older generation to learn, too, for one thing, the origins of these semi-mythical events in real, living breathing folk. ‘Also,’ Lang adds, ‘who knew that the Daily Mail called the Christmas football match treasonous shortly after?’ It’s an eye opener that promises a strong emotional register.

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, 4–27 Aug, noon, £12.50–£15 (£11–£13). Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £5.

This article is from 2007.

Forgotten Voices

  • 4 stars

Adaptation of Max Arthur's book using actual transcripts of interviews with First World War veterans. Seamless interweaving of the separate accounts provides a stirring and frank account of the major events of the war. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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