The Unreturning, Minerva Theatre, Chichester - Review

A scene from The Unreturning by Anna Jordan �Tristram Kenton
A scene from The Unreturning by Anna Jordan �Tristram Kenton

Don’t book your tickets expecting a splash of light entertainment to lift the winter blues.

This is uncompromising stuff.

Three men returning from three different wars over the past 100 years to ‘home’ - a seaside town in the North East of England.

But war has scarred them more than just physically. They have ruthlessly controlled their emotions on the battlefield but now they must confront them as they return to family and familiar places.

Those waiting at home and receiving them are as unprepared as they are.

But there is mesmerizing magic in the gloom.

Anna Jordan’s script sings with a beautiful poetry of the soul.

The simple set - a revolving freight crate - is as active a member of the drama as the cast themselves.

Choreographed with the precision of a ballet, this all male cast interacts with each other in a manner which is as much masculine as it is sensual.

Frantic Assembly has a breathtaking reputation and the four actors hypnotize the audience with a tale that is raw and honest.

Jared Garfield, Joe Layton, Jonnie Riordan, and Kieton Saunders-Browne deliver faultlessly.

It was for rare productions such as this that the Minerva was first imagined.