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Archive for October 20th, 2010

The publicity promised much:  Abigail Docherty’s  new play,winner of the Tron’s Open Stage Competition, given a full production by Andy Arnold and his team.    I wanted to know more about these Scottish women who headed off to World War One battlezones to do their bit.

Land and Sea and Sky at the TronThe play was a great disappointment, and told us little that we did not already know:   the posh and working class girls tumbled together, the horror and sheer overwhelming nature of what they were asked to do when they got there, the chaos of war, the loss of life and the mentally damaged survivors.

Although taken from real diaries, I was surprised by the course language and the complete lack of any organisation in the field.     I had thought that people got on with what they had to do and did their best.    Perhaps that is the version we are supposed to believe  and this was to tell us otherwise, in which case, fair enough  I suppose.     I just can’t believe that the nurse who dragged corpses around with her was not taken in hand by anyone – by colleagues or the person in charge.   This got a laugh (of all things)  in the theatre.

I really wanted to meet Dr Elsie Inglis who set up the field hospitals where the young women were recruited to work.  In taking a bigger view we might have learned more about the aim of the exercise, what was achieved and the failings. 

So, a disappointment all round.    The two rays of hope at the very end were just over contrived.

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