All That Remains
Molodyi Teatr London
Greenside @ Infirmary Street
All That Remains is a sombre reflection on the dead. We don’t hear their names and we aren’t even sure how many are represented by this particular play.
They are among those killed in the Ukrainian civil war. The play gives us low-key scenes surrounding the death of the narrator's (Olesya Khromeychuk) brother, a soldier on the Ukrainian government side.
There is the poverty of the troops that relatives support by buying equipment on the Internet, the bureaucracy of government folders about the dead and the injured that are constantly being shuffled and added to and the strange difficulties in contacting next of kin. One official is shown trying to message a relative on Facebook.
We hear about the different responses to the bereaved from sympathy to an attempt to explain the war as a necessary sacrifice. But the play doesn’t try to romanticise or glorify the war. It doesn’t even try to justify it.
The unnamed soldier is shown mostly alone, isolated, filming on his mobile phone his winter in a bleak landscape where the raindrops are frozen, a message that will after his death be all that remains.
There is no story, and there are no names of people in the play. There are simply the fragments of grief as theatre.
Reviewer: Keith Mckenna