The Escape Committee REVIEW: A triumph of time travel for Ted and Pearl

FLORA Whitmarsh, as Pearl, and Gabe Evans, as Ted, in The Escape Committee.

FLORA Whitmarsh, as Pearl, and Gabe Evans, as Ted, in The Escape Committee.

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ORIGINAL, brave, and heart-wrenching, Queen’s College’s drama students delivered a war-time love story with sensitivity and intelligence this December.

Set in 2002 in the Clifftops’ Care Home, playwright Steve Eaton-Evans’ ‘The Escape Committee’ explored the alien experience of, and attitudes towards, ageing, on the one hand, against the stark contrast of Second World War flashbacks.

Old Ted and Old Bill, war veterans now consigned to Clifftops, were two men ossified in that time; young, ordinary men-turned extraordinary heroes of the singularly incredible Raid on St Nazaire; locked in the pain and memory of the things they’d seen, and the love they’d lost.

Nick Brace’s music gave the show its true sheen and polish. It captured both the spirit of the motley residents living out their twilight years, and the bittersweet escapism the war-time dance hall must have given war-era Britain’s soldiers and land girls.

And with the hall’s beguiling Lana Tracey (Emily Jolliff), singing the show’s beautiful soundtrack, the story of Ted and Pearl hit home all the harder.

The hard-working cast will have a job to better what they achieved with The Escape Committee.

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