Guy Masterton has been producing hit Fringe shows for over two decades. This year, however, he is on stage immersing the audience in the horrors young men had to endure in the hell of the trenches of the First World War.
The show starts explosively, literally, as with sound effects he acts out a harrowing extract from a short story encapsulating the terror men in the tranches felt as they were subjected to the relentless shelling in their squalid lice infected pits. With poems and short stories from British and German soldiers we experience vocally the annihilation of young men whose lives were brutally truncated in pursuit of patriotism.
Masterton engages wholeheartedly in the words of these soldiers who put pen to paper to recount the horrors they witnessed. The title of the show – Anthem to a Doomed Youth – was written by Wilfred Owen when he recovering from shell shock at Craiglockart War Hospital here in Edinburgh in l917. He returned to the front and was killed in action a week before Armistice was announced.
If you want to be reminded of the courage these young men displayed in the most appalling conditions then I highly recommend this moving show.
Times: 7,8,9,10,12,14,15,16,17,19–24 Aug, 16.20; £9-£13