Presented by Kate JasonSmith and Hartstone-Kitney Productions
Reviewed 15 Feb 2020
Kate JasonSmith has an interesting story to tell. Her mother Phyllis’ adventures in Europe as a young woman, or that is how the show comes across as we begin. The slow realisation that the show I’ll Tell You This For Nothing – My Mother The War Hero presents an adventure is less exciting and more humbling.
Predominantly set in continental Europe it follows the shockingly honest nature of life for a nurse on the front lines during the Second World War. A story of perseverance in adversity, the story starts with Phyllis receiving her training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and her eventual military training before moving to France during the Normandy invasions. Written by Kate, much of the script is taken and developed on by stories told to her by her mother. The dreams she would have, or perhaps we would now refer to them as flashbacks, were at times heartening and others conducive to emotional and philosophical reflection.
A simple set, the focus is entirely on Kate, and even with some subtle lighting changes there is little desire to at any time remove your focus from her. Kate is a solid story teller. She embodies not only her mother but a number of important individuals from her mother’s time during the war: friends and acquaintances alike. She is sharp both physically and vocally with her character changes. However, the occasional shift from the modern conversation Kate would be having with Phyllis to a moment Phyllis was in during the war were not particularly clear and as a result it would take the audience a few moments to catch up.
Emotionally compelling, fascinating but above all personal, I’ll Tell You This For Nothing – My Mother The War Hero warms the heart.
Reviewed by Simon Lancione
Rating out of 5: 3.5
Venue: Noel Lothian Hall – Adelaide Botanic Garden
Season: 15-25 Febuary
Duration: 65 mins
Tickets: $FP 28, C 24, Bank SA support act 10, Bank SA card holder 22 School 15