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|West End Gears Up for War
- Church crypt the stage for new anti-war drama
WARTIME premieres in the crypt of St Andrew's Church Holborn from March 26. The topical new play by David Williams inaugurates the performance space, aptly named Theatre Underground. The venue follows the trend set by smaller theatres forged from deserted locations, such as Shunt's Bethnal Green railway arch and the the Almeida's home from home in a King's Cross depot.
The topical new drama is set in a courtroom where a pilot who killed a young waitress with an off-course cluster bomb is brought to account. The ten strong company will be performing in a crypt that until recently was filled with over 3,000 coffins as well as rubble left over from a fire bombing that occurred during the Second World War. The production draws resonances from the imminence of war with Iraq and reveals the potential cost.
Williams' play was developed following a visit to a Serbian anti-Milosevic town that was bombed by NATO during the Kosovo crisis. Producers of the show maintain that Wartime reflects the anti-war sentiments that television and traditional theatres have been slower to show.