Back for a third year running at Adelaide’s Fringe Festival, The Bunker Trilogy is an excellent theatre production that offers an insight into the reality of the bunkers during World War I. The production alternates between three set plays that draw from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and other legends including Morgana and Agamemnon. I was curious to know how these tales from different time periods could be recreated and transformed into the theme of war.
Everything Adelaide was privileged to see all three plays, but I still cannot decide which one is the definite favourite. I find that it depends what you’re after as each play offers something different from humour and comedy to intense seriousness. Each performance is just under an hour long and highlights the talents of four UK actors.
First we saw Morgana, which is inspired by the Arthurian Legend. Three young English soldiers experience the wrath of war as well as the heartache of missing loved ones. A mysterious maiden tempts their need for affection, but is it all real? The comedic elements and humour present often drear our minds away from the seriousness of the situations. Throughout the storyline, we experience every heartfelt moment, acts of conflict, bombs of battle and the split moment you realise someone is lost forever.
Unlike Morgana, Agamemnon is far more intense and draws from the Ancient Greek Legend. A soldier and victim of shell shock is traumatised by his own mind and memories of home. The illusion of past, present, imagination and reality all merges into one for the soldier who is missing home ever so dearly. The performance was outstanding and audience members were able to follow the production sequence easily.
Out of the three, I would say this was the most enjoyable for me. I enjoyed the use of flashbacks that resembled the soldier’s memories of his wife but also how they demonstrate his tampered mind.
The same intensity is also present in Macbeth. If you’re a bit rough on your Shakespeare you may not follow this play as well compared to the others as it’s performed in Shakespearean. Nevertheless, the performance itself is still remarkable and exciting. The use of gas masks to symbolise the wickedness of the three witches was also very creative. Although, I found the story of choice to be slightly restricting in the sense of war.
It can certainly be said that The Bunker Trilogy is not one to miss this Fringe season. It’s an exciting and thrilling experience like no other that may bring you to tears. The acting is remarkable and the stage design is very up-close and personal. All round superb!
When: 12 Feb to 14 Mar
Where: Noel Lothian Hall – Adelaide Botanic Garden
http://www.thebunkertrilogy.com/ [Images also from website]
A Jethro Compton Production. Co-produced by Joanne Hartstone and Hector Macpherson-Brown.