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Fringe Fest review: Where Heroes Lie

Play issues a warning and a plea
Where Heroes Lie
Where Heroes Lie is at Holy Trinity Anglican Church as part of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

 

Where Heroes Lie

Oriflamme Event Production

Venue 14

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

10037 84 Ave., Edmonton

3 ½ Stars

There’s no glory in war – unless you mean basic survival. That’s one theme running through Where Heroes Lie, a 75-minute production that attempts to honour veterans who fought throughout the horrific violence of the Second World War.

St. Albert playwright David Haas borrows from his military experience to craft a play about stalwart soldiers who, upon witnessing the world’s cruellest atrocities, buried the memories within themselves and paid the price.

High school student Rowan (Hannah Bilodeau) wins a trip to France and takes her grandmother, Jamie (Anne-Marie Smyth) as her companion.

Jamie, a seemingly well-adjusted and loving woman, has never known her father. As a child she was told he died as a hero covering his body with a grenade to save his men. However, Jamie’s mother’s refusal to discuss the past creates a mystery surrounding his death.

At the veteran’s cemetery next to her father’s headstone, Jamie encounters Andrew (Rob Beeston), a shuffling, cane-wielding former soldier who has returned to pay his end-of-life respects to fallen comrades.

Trust develops between the two and Andrew opens up about blood-spilled trench life and how victory was built on the bones of broken men – both physically and mentally.

Although this play has different levels of acting skills, Beeston and Smyth, both regulars from St. Albert Dinner Theatre, have a long-standing chemistry that builds instant rapport.

Both cemetery visitors are on a journey of discovery where hidden secrets once brought to light finally reveal new truths and set them free.

In our increasingly complex world where war drums beat across the globe, Where Heroes Lie is both a warning against combat and a plea to honour and respect those who choose to wear the uniform.