Holding Hands at Passchendale
White Bear Theatre, Lyric Theatre Belfast & Tour
Christopher Loscher & Mike Lees
Designer Mike Lees places the action among hay bales in a farm building with slatted walls through which, in daytime, an iconic landscape of silhouetted shell-ravaged tree-stumps can be seen.
British theatre guide howard loxton
The bleak setting is cleverly and beautifully realised by Mike Lees who uses palings to recreate the cage like barn in which the two men are held - and between the palings, barely discernable, can be glimpsed stumps of trees and mud wastland - copied from the famous WW1 landscapes by Paul Nash.
Aline Waites Remote goat
First, walking into the theatre is an experience in itself. Mike Lee's brilliant set instantly assaults your senses with the sounds and smells of war, combining the smell of damp hay that covers the floor, the noise of distant bombs falling and heavy smoke hanging in the air. The lighting is put to good use to show the passing of the days, and the missing slats of the barn at the back of the stage shows peeks of scrubland to remind us of the war still going on.