Our Friends, The Enemy**** (Theatre 503, 22 July 2013)

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Theatre

It is hard to imagine a more potent anti-war message than that conveyed by the football match played between the Allies and Germans on the front lines on Christmas Day 1914. Here, Alex Gwyther writes and performs a 45-minute monologue which expands on the famous incident and describes various other friendly encounters between opposing forces on the same day during the most horrific war in history. Gwyther is primarily a poet, but this is beautifully written in prose, taking the form of diary entries; it captures all of the poignancy of the events and misses none of the ironies of ordinary people being caught up in a conflict between those who govern them. He is completely convincing as a private soldier, but sometimes the style of the prose does not adapt well to being dramatised, the speech patterns sounding rather unnatural. However, this is just a minor quibble over what is a very impressive and moving piece of work.

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