Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Troublesome People by Jill Haas, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
On A farm on the Isle of Man, the war against Hitler might be far away but it feels surprisingly close. Farm workers have been conscripted, but in their place Ozzy and Doreen Humber have Sam and Honey, conscientious objectors from London, and two German refugees, bright-eyed teenager Leo, and bitter, beautiful Leni, a former teacher.
As 1940 progresses, this idiosyncratic group laughs and cries, flirts and falls out, under the beady eye of farmer’s wife Doreen, who isn’t averse to stirring things up if the mood takes her.
Jill Haas’s ambitious play, brought to the Fringe by Derby-based Ashrow Theatre, explores the fact that the experience of the Home Front was about far more than keeping cheerful and banding together to beat Hitler. It exposed people to difficult new experiences and challenged stereotypes well beyond the comfort zone.
The company has worked hard to create a period feel to the production and, though the play has perhaps a few too many twists and turns, it goes some way to illuminating an important chapter of history through the lives of real, flawed, troublesome people.
Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) until 29 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015
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