PoW play wins Spirit of the Fringe award

A PLAY about prisoner of war camps during World War Two has won the Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe award.

Stalag Happy tells the true story of two artists in a German PoW camp who form a friendship and paint their way through their imprisonment.

The role of Sir Terry Frost, who went on to become one of Britain's most celebrated artists, is played by his grandson, Dan Frost.

Set in 1942, it follows Frost as he paints portraits of other prisoners on sections of hessian pillow in exchange for cigarettes.

With no previous painting experience, he is mentored by Adrian Heath – a fellow prisoner who comes from a public and art school background.

It is this friendship that leads Frost to make painting his life.

Dan said: "They used horsehair off barbed wire fences for brushes and the oil from sardines to stretch out the paint. They cut up hessian pillows for canvas, and used porridge and gruel to stiffen it. It was hard but inspiring."

The Frost family are well involved with the arts, with Dan's father, Anthony, and his brother, Luke, both artists.

His uncle, Stephen Frost, is a comedian, and his aunt, Janet Prince, performed in Durang/Durang at the Gilded Balloon this year.

Dan said: "It was very strange to have my dad see me playing his dad."