"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
DR SCROGGY'S WAR
Anne Boleyn, and now Harold Gillies.
the pioneering plastic surgeon who gave new faces, and hope for the
future, to the mutilated of the Great War. He's also, though this
doesn't become clear till Act Two, the eponymous Scroggy [another
triumph for Globe star James Garnon],
bringing champagne and bluff good cheer to his patients in their
play has other, more predictable threads. We follow young Jack Twigg
a London mudlark whose Oxford career is cut short when he enlists,
with his posh pal Lord Ralph [Joe
in the London Irish. Much to the dismay of his proud,
all happens so fast – an eve of embarcation ball given by Sir John
in hand, given to Shakespearean soliloquies],
a night of passion with the Honourable Penelope Wedgewood [Catherine
the battle of Loos, the trenches, the gas.
We see the VADs tagging likely patients [guinea-pigs for Gillies],
back in Blighty is the focus of Act Two.
has a light touch, even in the unspeakable horrors of war. His
Irishman [nicely played by Will
is a delight, and the friction between French and Haig [the excellent
Sam Cox] is beautifully done. The royal visit [Katy
gives us her Queen Alexandra as well as Jack's "silly" mum]
and the Broken Doll drag act also work well as set pieces.
absurdity of war is well caught, patriotism is questioned, and the
fatal attraction of fighting in the front line is revealed as an
inevitable motor of conflict. Jack can't wait to get back to the
action – his future is left uncertain at the sudden end of the
Dove's production is lively and accessible. The music, by William
uses a tiny band with cello and trumpet for the rousing ditties and
the mournful elegies. And
the deafening din of battle is superbly evoked, as is the tradition
here, without electronic assistance ...