YANK! A WWII Love Story | Review | 10th July 2017

 

Andy Coxon (Mitch) and Scott Hunter (Stu) in YANK!, credit Claire Bilyard

YANK! A WWII Love Story, Charing Cross Theatre

Reviewed by Becky Mary on the 10th of July 2017, Evening Performance

★★★★★

A beautifully moving and heartfelt love story with comedy, danger and pride. A romance blossomed in the troops of WWII that would change lives and history.  A fantastic show that’s story you need to see

 

YANK! is a musical , Orchestrated by Joseph Zellnik with Additional Orchestrations from Matt Aument about a World War II love story with a difference. Homosexuality was illegal and you could be arrested if you were found out, but even more so you could be tortured and interrogated if you were in the army to tell on fellow gays.  We follow 2 soldiers Mitch and Stu who when in basic training fall madly in love. This changes when Stu gets found by another soldier to be a part of YANK! a magazine for the troops to save him from going on the front line, one of the many jobs given to you if you were not a somewhat ‘normal” guy.  We follow him from there on his journey to fight whats right by society and whats right in his heart.

Overall the show was outstanding both technically and musically with real depth, emotion and understanding from all members of the cast.  The cast themselves caught your eye from the word go in all scenes they were in whether they had a smaller part or a main role. Not one person was not used to their full potential and this showed. I think one of my favourite part has to be the scene with the 3 soldiers in the typing pool pretending to be “normal” and camping it up when they realise Stu is one of them. I have not had a proper belly laugh like that in a very long time.

I commend the way that the director has got the balance of comedic parts and serious parts within the show making sure that you do get a rollercoaster of emotions right until the ending scene.  In addition I think the set was well thought out with a smaller stage, but I did worry that sometimes the set was going to not withstand some of the scenes when the actors were jumping around on them.

Scott Hunter, who plays Stu grabs your attention from the word go with his character. You see the fear in his eyes at the start in act one, but as the show goes on Scott takes his character and opens it up further to us showing his strength and realisation of who he really is. Andy Coxon, who plays Mitch shows us the true fight between following the guys and conforming to the norm and following his heart and his love for Stu. He shows that realisation of he sexuality and how he constantly is trying to accept it but never fully does.

A fantastic production outing the rarely spoken about story of homosexuality in the past and taking you through the whirlwind of emotions that goes along with it.

YANK! A WWII Love Story is a strictly limited season and will be playing at the Charing Cross Theatre until 19th August 2017

Tickets can be purchased here – http://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/yank-a-wwii-love-story

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