Follow first women soldiers into battle in new Sheffield show

Adiza Shardow as Private Sarah Findlay in new play Close Quarters at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield
Adiza Shardow as Private Sarah Findlay in new play Close Quarters at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield

Review: The ‘curse of the Crucible’ that hit One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest struck again as an actor had to take over a role at the last minute in new play Close Quarters.

Adiza Shardow does a fantastic job, helped by a script, in this new play about frontline women soldiers.

The play is part narration, part action, interspersed with some impressive movement sections.

Those of us in the front row were literally at close quarters at times but in safe hands.

In the story, friends Sarah (Shardow) and Alison (Chloe-Ann Tylor) and comrade Clare (Sophie Melville) are among the first women fighters to serve in a fictional conflict on the Russian border in the near future. 

They have to battle male soldiers’ attempts to undermine them and try to overcome nerves and doubts as friendships are tested, putting them in danger.

It’s an interesting and involving story, well told by a strong cast, but I’m not sure the final monologue really works.

Close Quarters, written by Kate Bowen and directed by Kate Wasserburg, continues its run at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield until November 10.