It is Winston Churchill as an old man that we can remember best from old black and white film footage. He was an old man for a long time, passing away, aged 91, in 1965. But go back over 60 years to the year 1899 when, as a 24 year old, Churchill, the son of a Lord and from a family steeped in politics, needed to make his mark in life.
As the young Churchill, Freddy Machin gives a powerful performance if, at times, over robustly. The play is set at the bottom of a mine shaft in South Africa. He is on the run from the Boers. His life depends on whether the mine manager will help him escape. As he awaits his fate, he recalls the events of the previous months.
After failing to win a by-election, he becomes the war correspondent for the Morning Post to cover the Boer War. Thus his South African adventures begin. Sound and lighting effects help to create the noise of battle and his deprivations in avoiding capture.
Of course, we know he did escape, become an MP and the rest, as they say, is history. This play effectively reveals Churchill’s dogged and determined personality at a pivotal time in his life. Indeed, such characteristics were to play a crucial part in Britain’s survival during World War II.
Reviewed by Ben
Pleasance Courtyard: 33
1 to 27 August 2012 (not 8, 15 & 22)
14.45 – 15.45
Fringe Programme Page Number: 335