The Unknown Soldier

The-Unknown-Soldier-Assembly-Landscape.jpgThe Unknown Soldier
Written and performed by Ross Ericson

Assembly Hall Baillie Room 13:45
Aug 4 – Aug 29
Performance time – 13:45
Duration: 50 minutes

We’ve just passed the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme and plays about the First World War are coming out thick and fast. Ross Ericson’s one man play has to be one of the best plays produced about the tragic conflict.

Ericson brings real feeling to his role as Sergeant Jack Vaughan, a man who stayed on after the armistice to search the battlefields for the remains of the men who could never go home.

This outstanding performance is moving beyond words. It gets behind the jingoistic, superficial, phoney plastic patriotism that talks about our glorious dead and that perverts the message of Christ into a claim ‘that greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his King and Country’. This play is closer to Christ’s true message; ‘that he lay down his life for his friends’.

As Ericson is talking to the audience, he has Jack addressing his dead comrade and fulfilling a promise he made to him amid the shells and gas and the horror of the trenches. It’s a wonderful mix of trench gallows humour and pathos as he recollects the steps the poor bloody infantry took to humanise their situation in the midst of unimaginable horror.

This is a superb play. Do not miss it.

Reviewed by David Kerr

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