A War Game
Performances: Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre, Canada (2017)
APT Gallery, UK (2018)
Collaborators: Charley Ipsen, Culture Clash Theatre Club, 2021 Concerts
Let’s say I wanted to write a piece about war. I’ve seen various ways to do that.
Shakespeare: Style is heightened & poetic, the subject is nobles (with commoners in comic roles, and the structure is fixed, exploring heroes and villains.
World War I poets: the style is semi-naturalistic, the subject is the rank and file, the structure is fixed, focusing on heroic, but pointless, sacrifice.
LARP: the style varies, as does the subject (beyond fantastical realms), and the structure is a chaotic, improvised, game.
I took something from all of these. I used Shakespeare’s poetic style, and followed his gradual shift to bitterness about war. I wanted to write about ordinary combatants, following the WWI poets. And I wanted to show the chaos of war, so LARP’s chaotic combat determined when people died and delivered a death-monologue.
I hope this gave an interesting look at perspectives of war, and avoided the heroic characters more structured pieces have.
At the very least, both the Canadian and UK casts enjoyed hitting each other with foam weapons.
“Blood and gore and glory on me;
First to fall is first in stories…”