Come Unto These Yellow Sands
Fringe theatre is often the preserve of the young. Brighton Fringe regulars Wired Theatre are an older company, and deserve to be valued more widely. They bring a knowledgeable slant on historical subjects and a maturity of skill, while making work devised through improvisation that uses non-theatrical spaces.
Set in a Hove townhouse, this play re-evaluates the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp via a present-day reunion between two former members. It begins and ends in the front room, where paintings of the protest share wall space with the real owners’ photographs, and Peggy Seeger songs drift down the hall to the ticking of the mantel clock. The dilemma of the Greenham women – the tension between the political and the domestic, between family commitment and societal protest – is in the room from the get-go, and hasn’t eased with the passage of time.
The clarity of the writing is impressive as it juggles primary research and four well-balanced character perspectives. Vivid details ring through the unhurried performances, from the Christmas dinner of veggie stew and Ryvita to the sound of a fellow protester’s deep, exhausted snores.
The use of space is subtly effective, too. A prickly scene in the kitchen, as two of the women prepare lunch together, quietly stirs in our own feelings about sharing personal space.
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