Birdsong at the Assembly Hall Theatre Review

Assembly Hall Theatre
Tunbridge Wells

24 February to 1 March 2014


Reviewed by Cheryl Wesley

Waterproof mascara and a couple of tissues is a must for this moving production. Birdsong shows snap shots of the frontline following about 8 young men whilst they deal with the hardships of the trenches. It also focuses on the story of one young man, pre the war showing the love of a good woman will keep him going to the end of the war.

The theatre itself was a good choice of venue for the play as it gave an intimate feeling whilst watching and there was plenty of room in the seats to feel comfortable.

As the play was set during the war, I was not expecting to chuckle so much throughout the production. The one-liners kept you from feeling so teary!

The staging was basically one backdrop to encompass the trenches and a townhouse with additional props brought in via the actors to set the scenes. At one point the show swaps between life before and during the war a lot, this made the quick tempo scene changes pass easily and you could follow the story easily and it did not affect the storytelling at all.

The special effects ensure your senses are used to the limit. The loud bombs definitely had you jumping out your seats, occasionally, whilst the smoke machines left the smell of gunfire in the air adding to the overall effect and complimented the story perfectly.

From the very beginning of the play the actors draw you into the world of war and you could see the passion of the story written over every face. I could not single out one actor as outstanding, as in my view they were all excellent and all roles played had an important part in telling the story as a whole.

The touching end was a collection for Help for Hero’s bringing home the fact people are still out there fighting in wars, waiting for loved ones letters to bring a smile to their faces.

Although the play leaves you in a sombre mood, it really is a brilliant play which is a must see.

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from £18 to £28.50 (plus £1.25 booking fee).

For more information or to book tickets click here or call the Box Office on 01892 530613.


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