a play by Seán O’Casey, at the Oxford Playhouse.

The visits to Oxford of the Druid theatre company are something anticipated with excitement by Playhouse fans. This time they have taken on the considerable challenge of Sean O’Casey’s 1929 play The Silver Tassie, set in the First World War. It is a strange play, lengthy, involved and wide-ranging, with a first act in naturalistic style and others in what can perhaps be called expressionistic mode, as the play struggles to present on stage the full hellishness of the battlefield and the lunacy of the war experience. The impact this has is considerable, and bearing in mind that this country in 2010 has been at war now for nearly nine years, I think that this play, sombre though it is, deserves to be seen. In fact, every young man who is thinking of joining the army and going off to Afghanistan, ought to go and see it.

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