A New British Musical written by Ross Clark and directed by Andrew Keates ★★★★★
Union Theatre is a poky, spit-and-sawdust kinda playhouse. Once you’ve walked through the patio, you’ll be drawn into a small but amply sized bar with a piano nestled in the corner, bare brick walls, basement-jazz low lighting and a sort of smell that evolves from years of fermenting damp, old stone and no doubt decades of booze spillage. Utterly charming – even it you’ve no intention of watching a production you must pop by for a swift one or a caffeine fix.
Award winning journalist Ross Clark’s story highlights that allied soldiers were executed for cowardice, by British soldiers during the First World War, focusing on an underage recruit and some homosexual turmoil. Director Andrew Keates, also a trophy holder, breathes life into Ross’s quillings with emotion-elevating lyrics and compelling numbers that are implemented by nine talented actors.
Set in a village in Suffolk the performance confronts class hierarchy, a strong sibling bond, a sexuality struggle, and the injustice of how young men with no real political views were brainwashed to fight. A head stirrer with core-fondling harmonies.
Emma Cardinall (played by Cameron Leigh) brought a slight element of Downton Abbey meets Are You Being Served to her segments while Edith (Katie Brennan) could easily have walked in off the streets of an East Anglian village she was so lifelike. But the shiniest bauble on The White Feather’s theatrical tree is Georgina Briggs (Abigail Matthews) – pitch perfect. Abigail, buy your ticket to Hollywood and don’t forget to pack a red carpet number.
To learn what occurs in the Union Theatre trenches, and to see how the many layers of The White Feather unfold, no military tactics, tanks or weapons needed – just hop on a tube to SE1.
Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, London SE1 0LX – Wednesday 16th September – Saturday 17th October 2015
Tickets are available starting at £15 from the Union Theatre Box Office and www.uniontheatre.biz – 020 7261 9876
by Thabian Sutherland