Review: Pink Mist, Bush

“Who’s going to pick up the pieces? Not all the king’s horses that’s for sure”

From a well-received run at the Bristol Old Vic last year, Owen Sheers’ Pink Mist arrives at the Bush Theatre in a quiet storm of heartbreaking poetry and theatrical splendour. With little to look forward to in their downbeat Bristol lives, Arthur leads his pals Taff and Hads in following the maxim “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” and enlisting for the armed services. But much as the men who marched asleep in Wilfred Owen’s poem, this trio’s experience of warfare is a brutalising, dehumanising affair. “Who wants to play war” is the updated refrain for this generation.

Fittingly, Sheers’ play – originally written for radio – is as much dramatic poem as pure drama, a deeply lyrical response to the war on terror, to all wars in fact. These characters may be fictional but they’re based on extensive research by the writer and rooted deeply in their birthplace, hyperlocal references constantly reminding of the importance of home. And it’s not just their tale, the men leave behind a girlfriend, a wife and son, a mother to fight in Afghanistan and Pink Mist gives voice to their struggle too, to demonstrate how the ripples of war casualties echo far beyond the front line. Continue reading “Review: Pink Mist, Bush”