Best of Charleston 2009 » Culture, Arts & Entertainment | Critics' Picks

Best Use of Fresh Parsley in a Play

The Great War

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June 4-7
Emmett Robinson Theatre

At first glance, The Great War seemed like a hard sell: dollops of historical information, a dour subject matter (World War I), and actors that were only a few inches high. But somehow the Netherlands-based Hotel Modern made the formula work. We admired the sheer hard work that went into reproducing a battlefield with puppets on a tabletop and getting the audience to give a shit about it. In fact, the members of Hotel Modern told their toy story in a very effective manner, hitting the lowlights of the War to End All Wars in a way that made the audience sympathize with the troops involved. Real-life missives were used to convey the feelings of the men on the ground, even if that ground was made up of mud, modeling clay, and parsley-sprig trees. We haven't cared this much about little lumps of plastic since we were 9 years old.

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