These Fragments

Judy Seall

Dolphin School

Greenside at Nicholson Square

From 04 August 2014 to 09 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Dolphin Theatre Company is amongst the youngest groups performing at the Fringe. It returns for a second year with a brand new show, These Fragments, at the delightful new venue that Greenside has in Nicholson Square.

Written and inventively directed by Judy Seall, it opens on the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI.

This accomplished young company traces the journey of a tea tin that is passed down the generations through WWI to WWII and the present day conflicts.

The play opens in 1914 where Dan, a factory worker from Blackpool, meets Kate, a librarian, and an unusual romance develops between them. The accents are spot on.

The action then moves to 1940 where we meet a group of kids who have been evacuated but are so desperately unhappy that they run back to London to live in the bombed out houses, where they form the Garden Gang.

The company uses a variety of suitcases to good effect, as they become furniture, part of the trenches and various props.

This is very much an ensemble piece with strong use of physical theatre, beautifully formed tableaux and some powerful individual performances.

There is great playfulness from the Garden Gang as well as some sensitive emotive moments, especially when the action moves to a country resembling Syria.

Here a young injured girl waits with her nurse in an empty hospital in the hope of getting medical help.

There is also good use of humour, such as the lad who writes to God asking him, “to give Hitler a really bad toothache.”

This is an excellent, moving show with the young company performing with passion and a total commitment and the singing of the war songs adds poignancy to the piece.

Playing at 9:45 in the morning it is certainly worth getting up early to see these youngsters, whose age belies their talent.