'The most emotionally engaging piece of the evening is set on the fringes of the first world war… Performance and production standards are high throughout, and Emily Spowage's characterisation of the Australian nurse beautifully balances direct narrative delivery to the audience and storytelling skills, with emotional expressiveness and impressive restraint.'
'Based on true accounts of the Australian Red Cross, it has a particularly affecting passage of quiet heroism, in which Emily Spowage recalls an escape from a torpedoed transport vessel by clinging to a drowning mule.'
'Exceptional… As quietly moving as anything else I’ve seen on World War One. Credit to director Benedict Power for bringing the work so quickly to such a fine performance standard.'
'A haunting experience.'
'[Director] Benedict Power finds some lovely moments of lightness and ease… A solid and powerful piece of theatre.'
The Public Reviews ★★★★
'It takes two people with special qualities to put across the relationship between Elsie and Bernard… Emily Spowage and Joel Parry posses those qualities delving deep into the minds of their characters. It is not easy to be on stage for 75 minutes without a break but these two do it seamlessly.'
Remote Goat ★★★★
'An excellent two-hander… Definitely one to look out for, even if you think you have had your fill of WWI commemorations.'
The Good Review ★★★★★
'A dynamic piece… Both performers inject their characters with sensitivity and determination… An absorbing hour of theatre.'
Theatreworld Internet magazine
An international collaborative commission between 24:7 Theatre Festival in Manchester and You Are Here Festival in Canberra, Australia, War Stories was selected for the Re:play Festival 2015 at HOME. This compelling new play is a response to the centenary of the First World War, exploring the impact it had on both Great Britain and Australia.
'Stories told. Stories heard. Stories lived.'
Elsie’s search for answers has brought her from Australia to the other side of a world in chaos. Bernard’s answers are no further away than the hospital room he woke up in. For both, the search is almost over. They each have just one more story to tell.
Writers - Rob Johnston (UK), Emma Gibson (Australia)
Cast - Emily Spowage and Joel Parry
Design, Props and Costume - Meriel Pym
Sound Design and Technician - Karen Lauke
Director and Co-Producer - Benedict Power
Production Assistants - Emma Blauciak and Luiza Purcaroiu
Photos - Khieng Ly
Trailer - Picture Show Productions
Commissioned by 24:7 Theatre Arts and You Are Here, and Produced by 24:7 Theatre Arts in association with Benedict Power Productions