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Topic: NO MAN'S LAND | Reactions, Reviews & POLL! Have you seen Damien's new play?

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NO MAN'S LAND - What did YOU think? [14 vote(s)]

5 stars - Incredible! Amazing play! I absolutely loved it!
64.3%
4 stars - Great! I really enjoyed it!
7.1%
3 stars - Good, I liked it
21.4%
2 stars - OK, but probably wouldn't see it again
0.0%
1 star - Loved seeing Damien on the stage, but the play was not for me
7.1%
0 stars - Terrible, I really didn't enjoy it
0.0%
Team DaMo
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RE: NO MAN'S LAND | Reactions, Reviews & POLL! Have you seen Damien's new play?
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Yes, Jack's Irish accent would be immediately obvious to a Brit. People have different abilities to recognise and place accents but at a broad level I think everyone would recognise Irish, Scottish, Welsh and northern/southern England. Damien uses a stronger accent for Paddy in Tiger Raid but you might recognise similarities with Jack's accent if you get tuned in.

My first reaction to Gary in Suspects 5 was "did somebody in casting say 'right, we've got Damien and Lenora, now we just need a bloke with a Derby accent'?" biggrin That may well have passed you by - Tom in BH and Gary in Suspects have the same accent. Actually, BH is probably a good place for accent spotting. Of the main characters, Mitchell is Irish, Annie and George are from the south of England, Hal speaks with "Received Pronunciation", Tom is from Derby (East Midlands) and Alex is Scottish. There are obviously identifiable accents for more minor characters too - e.g. Daisy is Scottish, Kara is from Devon/West Country, Seth is from Manchester.

It's difficult for most people to be convincing in an accent that's not their natural one so Damien playing Foster with a Cockney accent just as convincingly as Hal with RP and Jack etc with his native Irish accent is pretty impressive!

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Molonian
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Ah, thank you for the little accent-clarification. I've already wondered where Tom (or his accent) comes from. I do not understand a word when he speaks. It's the same with Alex.
And by the way, I find Gary absolutely great.



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Team DaMo
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Sana wrote:

I've already wondered where Tom (or his accent) comes from. I do not understand a word when he speaks.




"Are there subtitles for this conversation?"biggrin

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Molonian
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highfive   Exactly my thought



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DMF
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An entire 7 years on from No Man's Land I can finally add my thoughts on the play, which is now available to officially watch online via National Theatre At Home.

Better late than never!

Much of this will probably be a repetition of everything already said, but deliberately did not read back so as to give my own impressions.

I'm feeling rather overwhelmed to finally be able to see this play, grateful to National Theatre for widening access in this way, although triggered by the pandemic and consequences for live theatre, their At Home platform has opened up a whole world for me!

I've now watched it twice, had to, before sharing my thoughts. The first time I couldn't be sure if my emotions were heightened because of the experience, being able to finally see Damien in this play, after watching so many others enjoy it, reporting on it here, sharing news, photos, reviews, interviews, even a fundraiser, without being able to see it my self.

 

But no, the play itself pulled a hugely strong emotional response and quite a complex one. There is pathos, a gripping, rumbling, menace, an undercurrent of potential horror, compassion, heartache, fear, affection, dark humour, confusion, beauty, ambiguity.. there is a dream-like flavour to it all, obscure, textured and rich,  the dialogue is poetic and layered, captivating monologues.. staggering play, staggering performances. Unsettling, moving, discomforting...

 

The psychological dance between Spooner and Hirst weaving throughout the play is perfect, obviously... it's Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. They are like the wisest and most experienced conductors of the orchestra and they took the material further than you can imagine. They both shine, completely effortlessly. You know you are in safe hands. You relax completely into being taken on the journey by them.

 

I wondered if Damien might be overshadowed by these two mighty oaks, but, while his role and character are obviously more minor, his performance is not. When he is on stage, he is utterly potent. His confidence as Foster is faultless, he takes the stage with a vibrancy that is spellbinding and irresistible. His character, like the others, has intense ambiguity. Swaggering, dynamic, hidden, conflicted.

 

Can we talk about the accent? I don't mind admitting I was more than a little worried about it beforehand. We have all seen acting where an accent slips or isn't quite there and detracts completely from the performance. Not so with Foster, faultless and not excessively accenty. I am so impressed. It is not easy to be as seamlessly cogent, especially going from an Irish to a cockney accent.

 

I love how there is no making full sense of Foster and Briggs, or indeed any of the characters. Or indeed the relationships between them. The disconnects. The play leads you towards what you think is a glimmer of understanding then takes you away. The tension and shades, the overall mood. A masterful production, all down to the power of four characters portrayed by four incredibly talented actors. 

 

 



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