War Correspondents

Malvern Theatres


There were elements of this experimental production about journalists in war zones that were poignant and interesting.

Where it bombed, however, were the repetitive, well below-average songs in this musical creation - or "multi-disciplined song cycle", as the production company calls it.

Fascinating snippets of recorded interviews with war correspondents were spaced out between 30 acapella performances from a small cast of five.

But the songs all merged into versions of the same tune with lyrics that were far too basic to do justice to such a complex topic, and after a while,  my mind began to wander with disinterest.

At one point, the lyrics repeated over and over again "when will it all end", referring to conflicts, but I was wondering the same thing myself -about this show.

Performed by the Helen Chadwick Song Theatre, and featuring Helen Chadwick as one of the singers, this production has been co-commissioned by Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Sage Gateshead and New Writing North for Durham Book Festival.

With the current conflicts ongoing around the world and interviews with war correspondents achieved as part of the performance, this had the potential to be something extremely thought-provoking, instead it lost its way and lacked the drama it so desperately needed.

It ended up telling me nothing I didn't know already and was musically self-indulgent on songs that were ridiculously inane and obvious.

The journalists who sacrifice much of their lives to report the truths of war, which this show was supposed to be paying homage to, deserve much better than this.

Until May 21

Alison Brinkworth



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