Watching Minefield at The Royal Court sometimes felt more like a live documentary more than a theatrical performance. As theatre lovers we dream seeing a show where we come back moved and with our world opened a little more, this stunning and heart-wrenching show ticks all the boxes.
The stage for this multimedia performers is basic. A stripped-back space with musical instruments, a live video camera, and a large video screen. The video screen almost looks like an open book, most fitting as it reveals the performers stories, almost like chapters of the book, using the backdrop to signify a new part of their journey.
All the actors in this performance are veterans of the Falklands War and are not so much playing their parts as reliving their experiences. They speaking to each other and directly to the audience in a way which is powerful, thought provoking and at times, uncomfortable to hear.
The performers come from both sides or the war, so the performance is dual language, using live transcribing to translate. The fear of this being distracting, or taking away from the performers seems to have been considered thoroughly, and in the end it is a necessary and important tool at bring these once opposing forces together in a way which keeps the dialogue authentic.
Despite the serious, and sometimes very upsetting nature of the subject matter, they aren’t afraid to use comedy, and this dark humour shows just how they’ve managed to cope since the war. There are more laugh out loud moments here than in a lot of comedy shows I’ve seen recently. Yet when the personal accounts are more disturbing they don’t hold back. It’s amazing that some of these accounts can be told at all, and it sometimes feels like therapy. Performing in a room with people they swore to kill years earlier.
These incredible true storeys, and how they interlink here, prove for one of the most unstoppably powerful pieces of theatre I’ve seen this year. If you don’t want to give a standing ovation for the performance, then you must for their service. This show is one of a kind.
I was invited to review this performance by the London Theatre Bloggers, you can catch this show at until the 11th of June as part of the Lift Festival.