Theatre company Lost Watch have the uncanny knack of choosing subjects for their plays that are completely different to what’s gone on before. Flew The Coop – their latest offering – does have the distinction of being set during the Second World War, just like KATE did. However, this superficial detail is one of the few things Flew The Coop has in common with that play.
Directed by Louise Skaaning, Flew The Coop tells the tale of Horace ‘Jim’ Creasley, a British prisoner of war who regularly made attempts to escape. However his experiences are only half the tale. Flew The Coop is just as much about Rosa Rauchbach, the daughter of the owner of Silesia’s mining camp. “Silesia?” I hear you cry. “Where’s that?” Like many landlocked European regions in the early 20th century, ‘ownership’ of Silesia fell between several territories – in Silesia’s case Poland, the Czech Republic and during the Second World War, to Germany.
The burgeoning relationship between Rauchbach and Creasley drives the play, with the rest of the interned at the POW camp giving the couple their approval. While Creasley continues his habitual pastime of looking for foolproof routes to freedom, out of her love for him Rauchbach takes ever-greater risks to aid him in his quest. But surely their luck can only last for so long…
Music and choreography have always featured to a greater or lesser extent in Lost Watch’s productions, but this is the first show that is an unabashed ‘feel-good’ production with a couple of extended dance numbers. By the same token, unlike some of Lost Watch’s other plays, there isn’t the same degree of tension and conflict amongst the characters – the abstract goal of making a break for freedom taking its place instead.
Be that as it may, Lost Watch prove with this play that they aren’t willing to rest on their laurels and dare to push themselves into new territory – still continuing to be one of the most innovative and original voices in theatre today.
© Michael Davis 2017
Flew The Coop runs at the New Diorama until 4th Match 2017.
CAST: Dan Armstrong – Bertram/Timmy/Hans/Rosa’s Dad
Rianna Dearden – Ermel/Rosa
Olivia Hirst – Ilse/Rosa’s Mum/Flapper/Gertrude
Daniel Holme – Jander/Horace
Agnes Wild – Brunhilde/Guard/Beaver/Maria.