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Tom, Dick and Harry at Alexandra Palace: Daftness and daredevilry

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nutritionist, a sheep farmer and a tailor are pressured collectively in a prisoner of battle camp. The consequence? A story of friendship, defiance and resilience within the face of adversity.

The 12 months is 1943; a gaggle of allied troopers held on the infamous and ‘inescapable’ Stalag Luft III prisoner of battle camp resolve to hitch forces and plan an escape by digging three tunnels – Tom, Dick and Harry – 30 toes underground, all whereas underneath the watchful eye of the Nazi guards.

Many will recognise this story from the 1963 Hollywood hit The Nice Escape – however neglect the daredevil antics of Steve McQueen, that is the actual deal. It could sound like a piece of fiction, however the present relies on the actual data of the escape. Utilizing beforehand high secret paperwork resembling Venture X, an in depth account of the escape committee conferences documented by survivors, the New Vic Theatre and producer Kenny Wax pull off a play as artistic because the escape itself.

Amid the hardship comes one thing much more lighthearted. The ingenious script, written by Andrew Pollard, Michael Hugo and Theresa Heskins, pulls off the spectacular feat of mixing the bleakness and horrors of battle with comedy and camaraderie.

Every utilizing expertise from their civilian occupations, the allies give you imaginative and elaborate methods of realising their objective whereas disguising their grasp plan; the ’feminine solid’ of the christmas expertise present and slo-mo boxing bout are an actual pleasure to observe.

Alexandra Palace

Stellar performances come from Hugo and Pollard who by no means miss a beat as they seamlessly transition from determined escapees to German officers guarding the prisoners. It’s not simply the allies who maintain the viewers laughing; Moore’s efficiency as Fritz, a hapless guard, provides a lovely slapstick aspect, whereas Gala’s’ function as Giesler gives limitless amusement as his mood frays with every failed try to find the tunnels.

Alongside fast witted and energetic dialogue, the round stage, ever-changing lighting and war-time sound results work harmoniously to quick ahead, cease and even reverse time. The booming voice of the faceless narrator shares particulars in regards to the prisoners’ earlier lives – a poignant reminder that every soldier was as soon as an unusual civilian, unaffected by the horrors of battle. It’s this stark realisation that leaves us questioning whether or not our tears are of laughter or disappointment.

Whereas it is a story of captivity, hardship and braveness, it’s, above all, a story of friendship, and instructed in a manufacturing during which the entire is larger than the sum of its elements.

Setting apart borders, language and cultural variations for the larger good, a gaggle of strangers unite within the relentless pursuit of freedom. For these males, no downside is with out a answer, no quantity of hardship can suppress their spirit, and there’s no more true phrase than their uniting motto “Per ardua advert astra” – by way of adversity, to the celebs.

Alexandra Palace, to August 31; purchase tickets right here


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