Review: Eastern Angles: Private Resistance

Pictures courtesey Mike Kwasniak
Private Resistance, the latest offering from Eastern Angles, tells the story of the Auxiliary Units during World War II and, how us British would have coped with a German invasion.

Churchill’s secret army were primed and ready to go underground to fight behind enemy lines, and, if they needed to, give their lives for their country. The men were carefully chosen, trained to use explosives and dig underground operational bases all in total secrecy. In fact nobody knew what these men were up to, even their own family had no idea and only the men themselves knew where their hideouts were situated.
Private Resistance follows the story of one of these groups of men, their family and friends in a “what-if scenario”. Set in 1940, Dunkirk is lost and the Germans are coming… What happens next is pure conjecture, however Ivan Cutting’s portrayal of what could have been is both realistic and moving.

Diane’s (Frances Marshall) husband is in a POW camp, her sister died before the war leaving her in charge of her 15 year old nephew, Wilf (Fred Lancaster). ATS girl Prue (Bishanyia Vincent) is billeted with Diane, as Diane’s brother in law, Tom (Matt Addis) a war veteran from World War I, keeps a watchful eye on the family. Tom is also instructed by Churchill’s people to enlist a group of men for his secret army, Tom, of course turns to a man who knows the area inside out, a man who can navigate in the dark, local game keeper Frank (Phil Pritchard).

The five strong cast provide the audience with some very powerful performances. From the realistic scenes in the underground bunker, to the realisation that life is never going to be the same again as the cattle train rattles past the house taking Jews to a camp near Norwich, Private Resistance really does make you think about what could have been…

The stories of the people involved are gradually revealed throughout the production, finishing with a breath-taking conclusion, that makes you realise that people like Diane, Wilf, Frank and Prue really were willing to fight for their country had they needed to not knowing what the outcome would be.

Ipswich24 highly recommends seeing Private Resistance, a fantastic performance of an amazing story!

• Private Resistance is touring East Anglia and is coming to the Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich from 12th April until 21st April, Visit for show times and dates.