(rhyming) Review | The Trench


This review was written for the Londonist

Five musically minded men take on the task
Of using compact rhythmic, drumming, rolling verse
To tell a tale of trenches, battles, bombs and worse
In a 2012 Fringe hit that affirms war’s curse.

A shifting set of wooden planks and dirty sheets and screens
Conjure up an underground world where all’s not as it seems.

Our protagonist, an old miner by trade
Finds ways of coping in this dire, blood soaked maze
But a letter and bone shaking blast propel
Him, broken, into another kind of hell.

A series of puppets, operated by keen rods and hands
Join him on a terrible journey through a harrowing land.

Throughout, a guitarist in a Snow Patrol/Elbow style
Sings of the miner’s hopeless battle with death, his grim trial
Beneath the earth as reality fades, and all the while
Shadows and animation illustrate things truly vile.

At times the music drowns the narration, and the puppets’ hands lack attentive manipulation,
But, overall, this is vivid visual theatre for adults that’s unusual and engaging.

‘The Trench’ by Les Enfants Terribles played at The Pleasance in May and will return to the Edinburgh Fringe again this summer.


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