Young Critics Review 2018 – Trench Brothers
The performance of trench brothers on the 4th of July in an open air performance area at the national remembrance arboretum was truly heart-warming and allowed you to experience the tough realities of war and why things for soldiers were so tough. The young primary school students allowed the old war times and the new modern generation tied in together along with their puppets to signify the soldiers that they were playing.
The music by Julian Joseph along with Richard Taylor was a true emotional masterpiece and introduced and carried through the setting. It allowed the story of the West Indies soldiers to come to life. The vocals from the adult singers were truly spectacular as well as the sweet voices from the primary backing. The songs as well as movement and the storyline were emotionally appealing. The songs and the words of the pieces were carried through the gorgeous arboretum and this added to the atmosphere and made you think of the people who gave their lives for us and the reason why we were all there in the first place. A fantastic job by the team who really added the backbone to the performance.
The puppetry used by the primary school children supported their role of what they were doing in the performance as well as the main puppets used to replicate the role of the main characters. The puppetry used was effective, however at times was a little confusing. This was due to the fact that the movement in the play was constantly switching between real acting and the puppet work acting. Saying this however, the work done by the puppet actors did add to the piece and was well rehearsed. Additionally, a moment to add here was a moment that closed the piece where all the primary school students laid there puppets to rest on the sheet of poppies to signify the death of all the people during the war, this was extremely emotionally touching and pulled on the hearts of all in the audience.
The storyline in this piece was emotional and added in with the emotional effect of being sat in an arboretum. The idea of “trench brothers” and sticking together was carried through and you feel for the people in the trench and the life that they had trying to make our lives better. The scene of the letters home added to this and the words that they are saying are so realistic to an actual letter home during this time that it`s almost like they are reading it right off the piece of paper from the real time. Due to the fact that this is sung by the school children it adds a nice stylistic effect to the scene.
The principal of being sat in a remembrance arboretum whilst watching a show about why you are there is something that you shouldn’t just take lightly and something that you should take a moment to think about. It truly was magical. The whole piece was incredibly moving and a very good watch.
I would definitely recommend this show, but please be prepared to have tissues at the ready. Its highly emotional as well as extremely realistic. This is ideal for any war enthusiasts, parents or families. A very good watch as well as an insight into the life of a soldier portrayed by the primary school children and very well put together piece.
I would like to personally thank the whole team that puts the show together as well as delivering a stunning performance that was both enjoyable and educating.
By Oliver Gill