Sale Waterside and the First World War

Amongst all the many First World War offerings at the moment, ‘Our Friends, The Enemy’ at the Sale Waterside looked interesting.  Sale Waterside Arts Centre is barely fifteen minutes on the tram from Manchester, but until now I was unaware that it existed – and the small audience for what turned out to be an excellent play showed a need for better promotion.  There was an informative exhibition on how the First World War affected Sale.

‘Our Friends, The Enemy’ is a lovely, poetic piece, describing the moments in Christmas 1914 when the British and German armies met up, played football, smoked and celebrated together.  Alex Gwyther’s one man performance covers many characters and evokes the emotions and fears of soldiers on both sides.  You do feel like you are there – the wonderful triangular set draws the eye to the back creating a disturbing setting, which also allows props to be uncovered to promote the flow of the play.

The dialogue has great rhythm, and Alex Gwyther’s delivery is youthful, innocent and faultless.  I would have liked to have seen more emotional depth, further evoking the terror and loneliness of the day to day life on the front line.  Overall, a good play very well performed.

Future tour dates are here.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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