It’s a Woman’s War
Shabby Cat Theatre
Greenside @ Infirmary Street
Set during The Great War, It's a Woman's War follows the lives of several ladies who meet through a Women's Institute.
Facing a variety of wartime hardships, the women have to learn to cope with the harsh realities of conflict and their differing experiences of it.
The young company attack the script with conviction and there are both moments of humour and pathos. Although the idea of the group staging a play is only a plot device for the women to keep meeting, it serves as a good introduction to the attitudes of the women and provides a light backdrop to the bigger questions of honour and sacrifice.
Whilst teasing out many different issues, however, (shell shock, conscientious objectors, the change in women's status) the script does switch between them rather quickly and a slower burn might have given the actors more room to develop the characters, particularly when emotions run high.
There are some touching moments, though: the relationship between wife and returning war hero is delicately handled and the realisation that Dorothea (the matriarch of the group) is no-nonsense because she lost her husband in previous war highlights that the dreadful situation is not a new one.
This is a competent production and a good showcase for the company who effectively create very different characters facing their own personal challenges.
Reviewer: Amy Yorston