Earlier in the term, some Year 8 pupils went to the Nuffield City Southampton Theatre to watch The Shadow Factory. Here is a review by Laura Nash (8Ridgeway).
Howard’s Brenton’s The Shadow Factory, once again wowed audiences with its dramatic performance this year. Back due to popular demand at the Nuffield City Southampton Theatre, the tale tells of two girls lives during the Second World War.
The atmospheric lighting and minimalist scenery allow the mind full imaginative reign in the struggles of war time Southampton. Bars of hanging lights mimic the structure of houses and planes, giving a unique and creative feel to the play. The cast and chorus are local Southampton people whose intense and figurative song and movement sections bring a sense of wholeness to the show. The unique dances and complex musical numbers brilliantly portray the general feel of urgency.
Jackie and Polly, two young ladies in the play, are trying to help their country and find happiness in the bleak world around them. Polly’s eagerness and gumption to join a world dominated by men, and Jackie’s blind love for her brave fiancé, are shining examples of hope and trust in a torn and broken surrounding.
When Southampton’s Spitfire factory is bombed by German planes the only solution for Man in Charge, Lord Beaverbrook, is to use public buildings as mini factories, each producing their own plane part. Lady Cooper’s large house is transformed into an innovative design studio, focused on building a plane of the future. Not everyone is so open to the change, however, with Jackie’s mother and father, Mr, and Mrs Dimmock, reluctant to give up their laundry. The conflict in opinion divides the already warring country, dividing families, and trapping Mr Gooch in-between. How can a country fight another, when it can’t agree with itself?
The story is full of dramatic moments and unexpected plot twists, which sometimes overcomplicate the plot and confuse the audience. The father, so adamant he will not give up his laundry, suddenly helps the government move in. His change of mind is unreasonable and confusing as his decision is barely explained. In all, however, the play is well thought out and spectacularly shows the way war tears family and friends apart.
Laura Nash (8Ridgeway)