Rarely has a fringe show made the audience this uncomfortable.
It’s not because Blitz Kids is a piercing account of London’s child evacuees during World War Two. It isn’t that the script, by blitz witness Norman MacDonald, doesn’t cut that deep. But despite its flaws (missing an ending, boggy dialogue), it’s a sincere story about five kids holding onto their childhood in wartime.
No, the discomfort with Blitz Kids stems from the "posh English" and Scottish accents the young actors have been made to carry, and visibly struggle with. Often, you can’t understand what they’re saying. (And not in the cool Guy Ritchie-movie way.) Worst of all, most of the play’s awkward laughs sprung from someone’s mangled brogue.
We don’t fault the kids, who were eager and professional. We do fault the adult who shackled them to an "authentic" accent, didn’t provide enough coaching to help them master it and thought that would be good enough for the fringe.
With all of Winnipeg a potential audience, it’s upsetting. Please, let these bright, growing actors drop the accents. The show will be better when its stars aren’t drowning in vowels.
— Melissa Martin
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Jack (13) and sister Lily (10) are evacuated from the London Blitz to live with their Aunt Peggy in a neglected tenement apartment in Edinburgh.
After a bad start with their new surroundings, Jack saves the locals during the city’s first air raid. Later, the kids agree to participate in a back-green concert in defiance of the war with Nazi Germany.
RECOMMENDED: General Audience
Discount Tickets: $7 for Students, Seniors