Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth present THE UNRETURNING written by Anna Jordan and directed by Neil Bettles.
I want to return to my home.
A British Northern Coastal town. Three young men are coming home from war. Their stories, set at different times over the last 100 years, are beautifully interwoven in this compelling new play by Anna Jordan (Yen – Royal Court Theatre, Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2013).
Directed by Neil Bettles (Associate Director of Frantic Assembly) and featuring Frantic’s celebrated physicality, The Unreturning explores the profound effect that war has on young lives, and asks - what does coming home really mean? What is home? And when experience has shattered you into a million pieces, will home help to put you together again, or treat you as an ugly truth it does not want to confront?
This production celebrates the 10th anniversary of Frantic Assembly’s Ignition training programme, of which Theatre Royal Stratford East has previously been a partner.
Age Recommendation: 14+
Frantic Assembly stages Anna Jordan’s war play with trademark flair and style
Anna Jordan’s four-hander for Frantic Assembly, unfolding across time to tell parallel war stories, is performed with heart and focus
Jordan's writing lifts this show, being exceptionally meditative and occasionally very moving
It’s expertly done, if overly slick, distracting from the raw emotion of the tales. But even so, this is a sad and potent piece about the desolate legacy of war
Visceral but muddled drama about a trio of traumatised veterans
A spectacle, for sure, but upon reflection lacking the necessary heft
A salutary reminder of the after-effects of war
She writes blokes well, perhaps simply because she takes them seriously, a talent and preoccupation that makes her work similar in some respects to Gary Owen’s Killology
If some of the soliloquys and choregraphed movement sequences have an overtly improv feel, it’s a useful reminder that war isn’t all gym-toned, RADA-trained fun and games. Definitely worth returning for
Elegant but underpowered production is suffused with physicality