The world has become a dire place, certainly for the inhabitants of Ditch. They reside in a military camp of sorts in the north of England – where the end of the world doesn’t seem that far off.
Influenced by several random but jarring facts of great international significance, such as the effects of global warming (sea levels rising) combined with oppressive and severe government restrictions (China’s one child policy), Ditch imagines the world in the not too distant future and it is grim.
The lives before us in the theatre muddle through, gaining pleasure from such simple acts as starting a veggie garden, so that they may have something to eat that is not from a tin. The humble spud is revered as a symbol of humanity and fraternity.
A great set – simple yet engaging -on the small stage included provisions for the group and acted for the most part as a kitchen plus dining room where the group meets: the men are Burns (Lawrence Coy), Bug (Angus Evans)), Turner (Giles Gartrell-Mills) and the youngest James (Martin Quinn), all in combat gear.
Mrs Peel (Fiona Press) and Megan (Jasmin Simmons) round out the group and provide some romantic entanglements – some encouraged, others not. We see what desperation drives people to when their immediate future is under threat.
Such a bleak world would not seem fit for theatre, yet there is humour in the pathos. There are also small kindnesses that pop up, veterans of war Mrs Peel and Burns squabble yet she offers to make a pie as compensation for being disagreeable. The cast are all entirely convincing in a stoic show of how life continues during war.
Very well executed and well acted, Ditch is a show not to miss, on until 13 April, for more information and tickets see: http://limelightonoxford.com.au/ditch.php
Director: Kim Hardwick
Featuring: Laurence Coy, Angus Evans, Giles Gartrell-Mills, Fiona Press, Martin Quinn and Jasmin Simmons.
Above image by Becky Matthews.