A bold and exciting story that is well-researched. Based on the real-life Russian heroines of the Second World War. You can read the rest of my review here - http://www.artsbeatla.com/2016/06/hff16-5/...
In World War two, Russia had a secret weapon helping to stop the Nazi advance on the Eastern Front, an elite regiment of female pilots, Night Bomber Regiment 588. If the Cold War hadn’t happened, this story would surely have been a Hollywood movie.
Will McMichael’s play has a cinematic feel, the scenes are all pretty short, some without any dialogue, and there are action sequences with planes, underscored with rock music.
Devin Sidell plays the charismatic Marina, a decorated pilot tasked by Stalin to command a new all-female regiment. The girls under her command are young and rural, and unprepared for the realities of war. Heather Schmidt is Nina, a farm girl and amateur pilot who is the innocent through whom we meet the...
This play provides an excellent example of using comedy to make a dire and very easily depressing story, fully accessible. Based on actual events, the Night Witches were a unit of female Russian bombers who terrorized the Germans. These women were often ridiculed by their male counterparts, and they were given barely adequate gear and machinery. Despite this, they courageously returned to the air again and again even as they watched their sister’s fall from the skies as the German’s unleashed everything they had in order to stop them.
The production pays appropriate homage to these women. They set the mood with punk/metal music (I think that’s what it would be called?) and their staging of the witches’ flights is highly creative and effec...