Theatre review: Dead Equal, Army at the Fringe with Summerhall, Edinburgh

In 1914, two uniformed women meet upon the battlefields of First World War Serbia.

Dead Equal, Army at the Fringe with Summerhall (Venue 210)
Dead Equal, Army at the Fringe with Summerhall (Venue 210)

Dead Equal, Army at the Fringe with Summerhall, Edinburgh * * *

Nine decades later in 2007, two more women are posted in the midst of the British Army’s operation in Afghanistan. Linking them is the same person, Emily Simmonds, who serves in both conflicts; the concept of librettist Lila Palmer and composer Rose Miranda Hall’s opera not being to present a tale of time travel, but rather to show how the experiences of female medics in combat has changed over a century. That the two women are one and the same is somewhat incidental, and serves more as a linking device and a point of historical background which allows Palmer to perform both characters.

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David Pollock