When I first heard of The House Behind the Lines, I hoped for a gritty realistic portrayal of prostitutes in the First World War. It was all of this and so much more. Written by Lydia Rain, Buglight Theatre presented us with an unapologetic, realistic and absolutely tragic account of the working girls of France, their lives and struggles with the war, venereal diseases and often struggles with themselves.
The minimal cast of five, and the venue of the second space at CAST made the performance feel more intimate with the characters and their life stories, encouraging us to empathise with them.
The play featured two male parts who multi-rolled between soldiers and musicians, often used as a comparison of their duties on the trenches to the girls, whose work they used as comfort. The aesthetics of the play remained dark, much like its subject matter, and the use of repetition of lines and choreography evidenced the constant horrific reality the prostitutes faced every day, drilling it into both our minds and hearts.
In the current time when the poppy appeal has been rethought about what it represents, The House Behind the Lines showed us that we should never forget those poor Mademoiselles who sacrificed just as much as our troops for The Great War.
Upcoming performances in the second space at CAST can be found by clicking here.