Around the world teenagers are forced into war. 9 young men & women are thrown together, taught to ignore individuality and instead surrender to a greater cause. But these teens discover something that matters more…
Should you see it?
The Grandfathers sees a group of teens conscripted to serve 547 days in service of an unnamed militaristic country at war. The play is a series of scenes during basic training and shows the life changing effects the conscription and training has on the young group.
It’s a powerful look at the effects of war and what it takes to prepare for it, including the deep psychological toll it can take. It’s edgy, it’s emotional, it’s impassioned.
And it’s everything I hoped TWA was going to bring to the stage this year.
TWA, Third Wall Academy, is a company of young actors operating under the Third Wall Theatre and 100 Watt Productions. The company train & rehearse together to work towards a public production to Ottawa Fringe every year and I’ve been a big fan since Moonfleece in 2011 ranked among my top shows that year. The Grandfathers marks my favourite TWA show since that one.
Under James Richardson’s direction, the company of actors becomes a company of soldiers, marching across the stage with chilling efficiency. The company of recuits, played by Rafael Fantacci, Helen Thai, Ann Teodorescu, Moragh McDougall, Stephanie Vlichkin, Jessica Mundle, Jess Clement, and Adrian Pyke all acquit themselves wonderfully. They’re led by Leah Morris as the company’s Sarge who commands a strong presence as demands press-up after press-up from the company she’s whipping into shape.
From the battle scenes that bookend the play to such scenes as the company debating what to do with a wounded bird, The Grandfathers is a haunting, dramatically delicious, piece of theatre.