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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Osborne

Garrick Theatre

- 'Salonika' explored the tormented relationship between 84-year-old Charlotte (Kerry Goode) and her 63-year-old daughter Enid (Siobhan Vincent). Theirs was a symbiotic relationship of love and hate held together by mutual need and loneliness. Charlotte had accompanied Enid from England to Salonika to visit the grave of her husband, Ben (Rhett Clarke), long dead in the Great War (unbeknown to the women, not a hero; he took his own life by drowning.) The two women contrasted vividly; unlike Enid, a sad and bitter martyr to her mother's needs and whims, Charlotte was full of vitality, enthusiasms and humour. Then too, there was Ben (Rhett Clarke), a young 24-year-old drop out, the women found asleep on the beach; and Leonard (Douglas SutherlandBruce), an aging pensioner who loves Charlotte and hitch-hiked from England to be with her. The action shifted back and forth between past and present, dream and reality. All four had questions they wanted answered by the dead man - and the dead soldier had queries of his own. The acting by the five-strong cast in a play, which was both funny and sad, was mostly superb - a thought provoking evening’s entertainment. [The "Army of the Orient" that endured a monotonous and unglamourous war in Macedonia was the "forgotten" army of World War I. Entrenched in the environs of Salonika (modern day Thessalonika), the army stagnated, unable to move and achieved nothing. Their greatest enemies were sheer boredom and disease. Ten times as many British soldiers were hospitalised with malaria as wounded in action. There was no hero's return for the veterans of Salonika. There is no public memorial in Britain to the men who served there.]

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