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The Trench
Published on Monday, 08 April 2013

Promotional Image


The Old Market (venue website)
10, 12 May, 8:00pm-9:00pm; 11 May, 2:00pm-3:00pm, 8:00pm-9:00pm

 Warning: Contains flashing lights.
 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.

Somewhere on the front line of the First World War, an underground trench collapses… entombing Bert, a luckless soldier, alone in the darkness. It’s a theme that’s been explored many times before, but in this acclaimed play from the Argus-Angel-winning Enfants Terrible, the storyline takes a creative and unexpected turn. Guided by a mysterious apparition, the doomed Bert wanders into a fantastical, grimly allegorical world – there to traverse a nightmarish landscape filled with monsters and skulls, in the desperate hope he might find a way back to the sunlight.

Tickets for The Trench were highly sought-after at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and a procession of reviewers – including our own Alasdair Lane – queued up to praise its engrossing and innovative style.  Whether the ghoulish underworld it conjures is real, or the product of Bert’s crumbling mind, is a question that’s never quite answered: but the moral of the play is viscerally clear, a cry against the horror and futility of war.

It’s a physical and bleakly visual production, filled with khaki greens and muddy greys, and imbued with a sense of inescapable dread that’s rarely achieved at the Fringe.  But the puppetry is what sticks most in the mind; the company make the most of their supernatural milieu, with the swoops and sways of demonic monsters a counterpoint to Bert’s exhausted stumblings.  Book early for this one, but be warned: our reviewer wrote that it left him deeply shaken, long after the final curtain fell.

Read our full review of The Trench from last year's Edinburgh Fringe.

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