This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw Falkland Sound at the invite of The RSC.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production contains strong language and some audience interactions.
Review: Falkland Sound at The RSC Swan Theatre
Directed by Aaron Parsons, written by Brad Birch
John (Tom Milligan), has only been teaching on the Falkland Islands for two years, since about 1980 and is a relative newcomer to the islands. He tells the audience of his arrival and we are introduced to the residents on the islands.
Set around the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict, this new production tells stories from the lives of people on the islands and reactions back in the UK and particularly London. The play is told mainly as group narration and monologues with the small community of British Overseas Citizens fictionalised, using the real events as their basis.
There is a fair pace to what is nearly two hours and 50 minutes (including interval). The narrative is comfortably broken up by reactions in the UK and even some humorous moments. There are also group songs with understated choreography and even some barn dancing.
As the story progresses, the tone shifts from friendly farming life on a remote island, to being occupied by Argentine soldiers. We only see one of these, portrayed by Alvaro Flores as Sebastian and he seems to know resident Gabriel played by Eduardo Arcelus.
The UK scenes are loud, brash and inyerface in their style, capturing the political landscape of the mid-1980s. I’ve got memories of the 1980s and the era is defined by anti-establishment protests, punks with shaved hair and people generally sounding very angry with their middle-class accents. The fashions are there too, from gullwing sweaters to knitted wool jumpers and Deirdre Barlow glasses.
The Falkland Islands scenes evoke the unforgiving landscape with a simple but effective set featuring blocks on the stage plus small models to represent the homes of the islanders.
Storytelling is at the core of the production for anyone who didn’t know of this conflict and the repercussions of it, I felt it really detailed what was going on skilfully.
Whilst I really liked this production, it presents challenging situations and the audience feels very close to the action. I’m not able to really pick out favourites among the ensemble, this is a very talented cast playing characters full of secrets and stories living their island lives.
Travel back to a different 1980s with Falkland Sound. This beautifully told production is at The RSC’s Swan Theatre until 16th September 2023, discover more and book tickets here: rsc.org.uk/falkland-sound.