The Aids Memorial


Par Clare Brennan - 1 mn

Close Quarters
Crucible, Sheffield; until Sat

Last month, the defence secretary announced that women already serving in the army would be able to transfer into infantry roles , something promised since 2016 . Kate Bowen ’s play (shaped in collaboration with director Kate Wasserberg and dramaturg Catriona Craig ) addresses this new reality.

Set on a contested border in the near future, it follows three female recruits on their first tour of duty. Each scene focuses tightly on this very particular world of drill, banter, horseplay, guns, hierarchy, manoeuvres. If Bowen’s subject matter is specific, her scope is broad. Th e issues at the core of the work explore not only what it is to be female but also the ways in which individual and group identities are constructed, threatened, maintained, how they can be challenged and reconstructed.

Privates Cormack ( ChloeAnn Tylor ), Davies (Sophie Melville , below right) and Findlay (Adiza Shardow ) are well aware of others’ expectations ...