(Jackie Conham’s article appeared in the Telegraph 11/1.) 

Motherland at Tristan Bates Theatre, review

Motherland's collection of the stories of the women left behind by soldiers serving in Afghanistan is a superbly acted snapshot of the ramifications of war. Rating: * * * *

 First produced by Newcastle's Live Theatre in 2007 and back for a new London run, Motherland is a timely collection of real and intimate stories by the mothers, daughters, sisters and partners of soldiers both male and female sent to Iraq and Afganistan.

Verbatim theatre can often be clinical as it is a vehicle to document accounts of specific events, often leaving little room for creative interpretation. It would be easy for Motherland to just echo the well-worn debate about whether Britain should have gone to war in Afganistan in the first place, but the strength of Steve Gilroy’s production is the stories being told are by women who are refreshingly unguarded in their candour and unencumbered by protocol.


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