Anthem for a Doomed Youth

Theatre Tours International - Guy Masterson

Assembly Roxy

From 31 July 2014 to 24 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Amy Yorston

Guy Masterson is known for his one-man shows and his amazing memory. For this production, however, he chooses to keep the book in his hand as he does not wish it to appear as if he owns the material.

This sensitive introduction to the show firmly places it as a tribute and allows Masterson to show part of his own personality for a change. His own warmth and his clear respect for these men shines through in this and all his introductions to the various pieces.

It is not, however, just a collection of poems read aloud. Masterson acts the pieces, aided by sound effects and dimmed lights, creating an atmosphere that is sombre but subtle enough to let the imagery in the poems remain the key.

Masterson creates many different characters and, even with such serious subject matter, manages to pepper the gloom with a few laughs from his German and English Christmas day conversation in the trenches.

At times quiet and reflective, at others loud and desperate Masterson uses all of his experience to create light and shade in what could have been a depressing show.

This, instead, is a moving collection of poems written by soldiers on all sides of the conflict. Some are recognisable, others less so, but Guy delivers them all with equal passion and heart.