Forgotten Voices (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

*4Forgotten Voices

Well-written and performed WWI drama undermined by poor staging at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Using extracts from the sound archive at the Imperial War Museum, Forgotten Voices presents five oral testimonies of peoples experiences of the Great War.

The stories follow three soldiers of varying rank, a woman munitions worker whose husband is in the army and, later, an American soldier. The material cannot be faulted: these stories are a fascinating insight into a crucial time, and especially relevant in this centenary year. Some material, such as the Christmas armistice, is pleasantly familiar whilst recounts of injured soldiers are particularly harrowing.

Several esteemed actors have been booked to feature during the run and on this particular night Julian Sands and Robert Vaughan read their parts excellently. However the decision to have the cast seated on stools reading from scripts for the entire ninety minute performance is uninspired. There is little interaction between the characters beyond a few rank quips and the links between their recounts are clumsy. Each character appears a rude conversationalist, simply waiting for the others to finish so they can return to their own stories with little or no comment on what has been said.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 12 or 19), £11.50– £14.50 (£10--£13.50).

Forgotten Voices

  • 3 stars

Pleasance and Nick Brooke Ltd Taken from the Imperial War Museum’s oral testimonies of the veterans of World War One, Forgotten Voices is a series of vivid and deeply moving accounts of battle and its terrible aftermath. ‘Images you couldn’t invent…’ (Sunday Times). Based on the best-selling book, poignant tributes for…