Review: Carrie’s War, Crucible Studio

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Author Nina Bawden drew on her own real life experiences of being evacuated to Wales during the Second World War.

Carrie, played by Juliet Ibberson, and her brother Nick, an excellent turn from youngster, Thomas Ferris, are lucky to be chosen to live with kindly Auntie Lou.

However Lou’s brother, Samuel, is an austere man with a puritanical, God-fearing outlook. It’s a great performance from Rob Calnan however.

He impresses as the strict patriarch complete with authentic Welsh accent and dialect.

There is some respite for the siblings when they visit orphan Albert and his friendly hosts, Hepzibah and Johnny. Albert is wise beyond his youthful years.

It’s a very convincing natural performance from Dan Mitchell.

There are some interesting themes explored.

As well as the famous observation that the American GI’s are overfed, overpaid and over here, Welshman Samuel is suspicious of the English host family and their lifestyle. Since Hepzibah is not religious and practises alternative medicine, he believes this difference is something to be feared.

Samuel’s son Frederick is similarly narrow minded in his treatment of Johnny who has speech difficulties resulting from a physical disability.

The wartime is evoked well with period dress and the scenery representing the host houses is accurate. There are also the nostalgic words of Churchill and Roosevelt on the wireless.

Director Kay Massey and the team, including Mark Tolan on lighting, deserve credit for orchestrating the players through no less than 38 scene changes.