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The Home Front

by graham 

Posted: 01 December 2003
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Summary: Set in World War II two young women meet up again after a couple of years to discuss the war, their changed lives and their passed relationships.

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Tim Darwin at 10:29 on 02 December 2003  Report this post
Graham, I have really enjoyed this piece, well done! And, myself a newcomer to WW (a veteran of one whole week), I'm especially delighted to see another playwright submitting--we're a rare breed in here. Your submissions to the archive have boosted the drama content by 25%!

For me, the strengths of The Home Front were chiefly the period atmosphere and the subtleness of the relationship between Sam and Rachelle, and the excellent handling of the sub-text of that relationship.

I did hit a few small snags and offer these notes in the hope they are useful, but with the cavaet they're only my non-expert opinions and should be ignored if not helpful or meaningful. In the main, you've done an excellent job of keeping the period feel very authentic, though there are a few places where it felt a little bit too 'period conscious', maybe just a little more detail (establishing the period) than the characters would have quite used in dialogue; for example, Sam's line, "From what I heard he was bloody lucky to get off that beach," tells us everything we need to know and is convincing, but her continuation (after Rachelle's response) of "A lot of them didnít get away from Dunkirk" jarred a bit, sounded like info being underlined for the audience and causes Sam to pop out of character for a moment; dropping the "from Dunkirk" might be more effective. Also, some of the dialogue about the events of 1936 (the Jarrow Crusade and the Abdication Crisis) didn't always ring quite true to the characters, reads a little bit like a potted history lesson for the audience rather than dramatic dialogue between the characters. And Sam's question, "How long have we been friends now?Ē also jarred, didn't sound quite credible--and we already know, from their interaction, that these are friends of long standing. These are all really very small points, I hope I don't sound too picky, it's not my intention! My main point here is that you've done very well establishing period--in places, more than you probably need, so you could trim that a bit and have more space to develop the drama.

As I said, its the subtlety of their relationship that is the real interest here, and perhaps you could bring that on a bit more. It's not quite clear to me how, at the outset, Sam and Rachelle came to be sitting on the deckchairs chatting. Who was the prime mover in setting up their rendez-vous, and with what motive? What does Sam want from this reunion, and how is that different from what does Rachelle want--that is, what is the real element of conflict that they are resolving underneath their chat? And what does each have to gain or lose through their encounter? I wouldn't want to overweight these comments, because it is the very gentleness of their relationship which is so charming here, but I think you could sharpen some of the tension between Sam and Rachelle to good effect.

I hope I don't sound too negative here--I think this excellent work and very much look forward to reading your other offerings over the next few days, as time permits. Good luck with your work, and thank you for the enjoyment it has brought me!



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