Set on the island of Guernsey during the Nazi occupation and based on recently discovered diaries, Lotty’s War brings to life the reality of living in a part of Britain where the enemy took over every aspect of Island life.
Lotty (Olivia Hallinan) has just lost her father after a bombing raid on the main harbour when sworn enemy and Nazi Officer, General Rolf Bernberg (Mark Letheren) commandeers her home as his base, forcing her to cook, clean and care for him. Proud and loyal we see Lotty struggle between hating this evil invader and sharing tender intimate moments with him as she struggles to resist the temptations of this complex and interesting stranger.
Additional to the poison chalice of being deemed a collaborator, Lotty’s life is further complicated by her friendship with local Islander Ben, (Adam Gillen) and their joint desire to save their island.
Writer and Guernsey national Giuliano Crispini has done a wonderful job in creating a touching, powerful and passionate piece, created from a wartime diary written on tomato packing paper this really is a special piece of theatre. Bruce Guthrie directs his small cast beautifully and succeeds in transporting us to a turbulent time where we begin to question our own thoughts and feelings about just exactly how life would have been during those five hard years of occupation.
Olivia Hallinan is perfect as Lotty, she portrays the role just how you would want her too, strong, demanding, proud, passionate and loyal. She’s complemented well by Mark Letheren and Adam Gillen, both hugely different in their roles and sworn enemes, their honest portrayals leave you warming to both and beginning to understand the complexities of living with conflict.
A highly enjoyable play which will no doubt enjoy the success its hard working team deserves.
Lotty’s War, The Opera House, Manchester