‘Pink Mist’: Demystifying the Personal behind Public War

 ‘Pink Mist’: Demystifying the Personal behind Public War

Dynamic, harrowing and painfully plausible. 
Based on over thirty interviews with veterans, ‘Pink Mist’  explores the physical and emotional scars of three young men from Bristol deployed to Afghanistan.

Veterans are often depersonalised in the news. This play restores the heart-breaking complexity of the ‘War on Terror’, confronting the audience with its devastating, reverberating effects.

‘Who wants to play war?’ asks Arthur, as he describes how the three young men, dissatisfied by mundane jobs and limited opportunities, seek to fulfil their masculinity. They sign up, striving for sense of identity and belonging.

The play poignantly traces how their search for fulfilment devastates their own lives and those around them. The message is both timeless and very contemporary. The men's desire for group inclusivity reflects a reality experienced by Jihadists and Western soldiers alike. 

The production is dynamic and harrowing, and remains painfully plausible throughout. The power of the performance is rooted in a series of lyrical dramatic monologues. A stunning performance from Arthur, played by Dan Kirkler, who gives psychological depth to the universal themes of war explored in the play. Rebecca Hamilton and Zara Ramm beautifully portray the rippling effects on the women who remain at home. The bare stage keeps the audience focused on the seamless acting. The soundscape, movement and dialogue unify the performance brilliantly. This fluidity contrasts to the shattering effects of war that underpin the entire production. 

It is plays like this that keep the Bristol Old Vic at the forefront of contemporary British Theatre. Pink Mist is both dazzling and devastating: I highly recommend you go and see it.  

 

Tara Cairns.
COVER PHOTO BY MARK DOUET.

*****

five stars.

Pink Mist is showing at Bristol Old Vic from now until January 28th.
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