Last week, the Echo’s End cast, along with the director and stage management team, headed up to Salisbury Plain to visit the area where the play is set. Oliver Hembrough, who plays Jack Howard, tells us a little more about their visit.
There’s a moment in the brilliant new BBC show This Country where Kurtan lies on his back on the grass, cloudspotting, and says to the lads lying either side of him – forgive me for misquoting – ‘you look up at ‘em, and it makes you think how insignificant they are, doesn’t it’.
It’s a brilliantly complex, poignant joke, and its intelligence was driven home yesterday when the company of Echo’s End visited Beacon Hill above Bulford, where our play is set.
We travelled out in two cars, surprising a stoat that hared across the road in front of us, then trekked up Beacon Hill past the vast chalk kiwi, first dug by New Zealand soldiers in 1919 while they waited to be demobilised. The view from the top leaves you thinking of Kurtan. The metaphor was emphasised when a tank lowered hugely past us where we stood, attended as it rumbled through the vast landscape by a slightly less poetic sort of motorway breakdown white van that seemed to have been cast in the role of cheerleader, or hype man, to its enormous master. Around us, buzzards circled in a sky that will be more densely patterned with birds in another month’s time, when spring arrives in full force. On the Norfolk Broads and on Salisbury Plain, the skies loom larger than anywhere else. Makes you realise how insignificant they are.
Echo’s End runs in the Main House at Salisbury Playhouse from Wednesday 29 March to Saturday 15 April 2017. For tickets or more information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit www.salisburyplayhouse.com.