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Hell on earth

The widely acclaimed theatre company Les Enfants Terribles brings The Trench to Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, on Friday.
A total theatre experience of engrossing intensity, The Trench employs acting, mime, music, puppetry, film and even flying to enrich history with the quality of myth and reinvest an old story with the power it has lost through over familiarity.
The company has built a formidable reputation for playfully macabre tales, mixing drama, music and inventive staging to create gothic fantasies reminiscent of Tim Burton's oeuvre. The latest from the company draws on all their accumulated skills to present a story from the grim realities of war in a pitch-perfect demonstration of atmospheric theatre.
As a lost soldier fights his way through a battlefield the monstrosity of his situation manifests in the appearance of demonic elements and a diabolical pact. Taking their cue from the grotesque physicality of life (and death) in the trenches, the actors ooze out of the scenery like maggots from a corpse, the malleable stage enables walls to become roofs to become ground, and the use of expertly-wielded puppets further blurs the line between the animate and the dead. Counterpoint to the grim action is a melancholic collection of songs especially composed and played live by

, and his haunting,

-esque vocals are worth the ticket price alone.
Tickets, priced £12 (£10 discounts, £8 schools) are available from the box office on 01635 244246, online via

and from Mary Hare Hearing Centre, Weaver’s Walk, Newbury.

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