‘I am looking over a sea of crosses. So many men. All those lives.’
The Hobgoblin Theatre gives Keith Campion’s ‘The Last Post’ a breath of life on stage as we follow the affectionate and hopeful correspondence of a drafted father in the First World War and his young son.
Beginning in November 1914, 10-year-old William is hopeful that his heroic dad, Joseph, will return home in time for Christmas since that’s what everyone seems to be saying; he decides to write his dad a letter to remind him that he expects him home for the festivities with him and his mum, and here, a correspondence begins between the father and son.
As the weeks roll on and conditions in the trenches worsen for Joseph, the war is escalating rather than coming to an end, however, not wanting his son to lose hope, Joseph keeps up a hopeful and light correspondence with William ensuring to censor the truth of war and the trench horrors.
The end of the production is incredibly touching, with 74-year-old William present at his father’s grave in Belgium which is among the thousands of white crosses.
William reflects on their bond through the letters, as well as his bond with his son, whom he named Joseph.
The three cast members managed to create an incredibly moving and educational performance in 60 minutes as they effortlessly manoeuvre between roles, making the stage both their home and their no man’s land.
The stage displays two scenes, with one half depicting a trench, and the other half a scene of home.
This way, father and son can be depicted as close, and far apart, with their letters and voices often overlapping, but their realities far apart.
The production takes the detachedness of warfare and places a warming spotlight on the individual behind the ‘politician’s war’, the individual with hopes, dreams, fears, and morals of their own, and highlights the exploitation of these men who craved safety, peace, and their own family.
The show is on until October 26th.
Get your tickets here