The Play That Killed Me
By Justin MacGregor
The Lowry, 23 September 2010
The story of the playwright’s grandfather, Hector: a man who, it is clear, touched many other people’s lives.
It covers a number of years of Hector’s life and is therefore quite compressed in parts; the emphasis is on Hector’s service in North Africa during World War Two, where he put on plays for the eighth army, Monty’s men.
Gerry Mclaughlin is terrific as the lead, Hector being in large part the narrator of his own story. All the cast hold their end up well, mind, and Peter Hunt’s Lewis provided welcome flashes of humour. His rank yo-yoed regularly; now three stripes, now two.
As you watch the play, Rossetti’s famous lines (‘What man has bent over his son’s sleep to brood’, etc.) may come unbidden into your mind. A moving experience, and quite unexpected.