#BrumHour was invited to check out Glory Dazed by The Old Joint Stock.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Glory Dazed at The Old Joint Stock
Written by Cat Jones, Directed by Tracey Street
Caution: This production contains very strong language including racial slurs, plus homophobic and misogynistic language.
Glory Dazed is not your average production. It is a challenging slice of life exploring what might happen to a soldier returning from the front line after war. But rather than being set in a historic war it is set within the last decade.
The audience enters the room to discover four bar tables and a bar set up along the back wall. A fruit machine on another wall and a dart board on a third wall. There’s two rows of chairs along the three walls to choose from to sit. Even before we begin, there are three actors already in character. There’s music playing.
Pub owner/manager Simon (Dominic Thompson) and new staff member Leanne (Karendip Phull) are working behind the bar and about to end their shift and Carla (Sophie Handy) is sat at one of the tables.
The bell rings to announce closing time, the music stops and the theatre goes pitch black. The play has begun:
Ray (Paul Findlay) is banging on the door of the pub, but the doors have already been locked, he’s looking for his wife/ex wife Carla, this used to be his local but he’s been a soldier in Afghanistan, his time away has changed him a while ago. As there is a picture of Simon and Carla looking happy behind the bar, which Simon hides on realising Ray is there.
When Ray is finally let into the pub, he’s wearing a blood stained vest and jeans, his chest is also covered in blood. It is not immediately clear what’s happened but the incident has lead to Ray needing to look for Carla. Carla has hidden herself at the back of the pub but forgotten to take her phone, Ray rings it and its on a chair in front of him. Ray’s anger increases.
This is a bold, challenging and ultimately rewarding story exploring the results of soldiers returning to what I’ve heard called Civvy Street. The hidden scars they have can impact their world in different ways, some cope easily and others don’t. Ray veers from anger, to gameplaying to being broken, to being someone to avoid. I don’t notice any mention of the support or lack of support he’s received but he’s clearly landed himself in trouble.
Sitting less than 10 feet away from the actors means you can hear them breathing, feel their frustration. There are several shocking moments that unfold before the audience. But ultimately I felt compassion for those affected by these situations.
The actors all stand out but ultimately this is about Paul Findlay’s Ray as he leaps around from one emotion to another.
Please check out Glory Dazed which is at The Old Joint Stock until 31st March. Book tickets here:oldjointstock.co.uk/whats-on/glory-dazed
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not blogging theatre for #BrumHour, Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham.