A Strange Wild Song at New Diorama Theatre
The smoke filled room is aroar with the shrieking and crashing of bombs as the audience take their seats – an unsettling opening to the night. When the lights go up, however, and three boys in babygrows clutching wooden guns invade the stage, a rather whimsical feel takes hold.
A Strange Wild Song tells the story of an American soldier who, lost in war- torn France, stumbles across three boys playing their own childish war game amongst the ruins of a deserted village. The production by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company is a wonderfully outlandish delight: the actors use movement in place of speech, engaging the audience with childish clowning, while a moving and delicate live music performance accompanies them.
What is truly amazing about these players is their use of the space. Three grown men are suddenly children, tumbling about the stage, almost becoming acrobats. The set is used as part of their game: the floor becomes the sky, a set of draws becomes an aeroplane, and, finally and poignantly, these childish toys become their refuge when the real bombs start to fall.
This is a truly spectacular and innovative piece of theatre. It grips the audience with the physicality of three clowning boys, but it is also heart wrenchingly tender when an adult soldier enters their world.
Playing with memory, imagination and the reality of war, A Strange Wild Song offers an insight into conflict through the eyes of a child. A fanciful flight of fantasy that really must be seen and cherished.
A Strange Wild Song is touring the UK until the 19th of March 2013, for further information or to book visit Rhum and Clay’s website here.