FRINGE 2013 – Glory Dazed – Holden Street – 5K

By Peter Maddern

The tales of the problems of brave diggers fighting political wars in far-away countries which are then ignored when they come home is a fairly common one. Glory Dazed takes us further through writer Cat Jones’ additional research into the over representation of ex-servicemen in the UK prison population.

Ray (Samuel Edward-Cook) is screwed up on his return from Afghanistan but tonight, in a typical suburban English pub, he arrives to win back his ex-wife, Carla (Chloe Massey). There, he is also greeted by publican, Simon (Adam Foster) and waitress, Leanne (Kristin Atherton.)

Glory Dazed is a powerfully and precisely written drama executed brilliantly by the cast, with Edward-Cook’s Ray a stand out. For underlying menace on the edge of an explosion by a seriously unhinged bully, Edward-Cook makes you very pleased you are sitting as far back in the theatre as you can be. The most difficult role is carried by Foster as Simon, the physically less impressive publican who has not exactly behaved impeccably in Ray’s absence but who convincingly delivers one of the two scything monologues near the end that rips apart Ray’s posturing as the victim. In the end, if being a man is getting it right morally, Simon carries the bigger Y chromosome.

I appreciate it’s a big call even before the Fringe has started, but this is as good a piece of theatre as one is likely to see at this year’s festival – quality English actors relishing their opportunity to exhibit their talents on a familiar topic with a riveting and polished script that has the courage to counter-balance the usual demonization of ‘Bush and Blair’s war.’

Theatre lovers, do not miss this.

Kryztoff Rating   5K

Leave a Reply