The Deserter by Roger Goldsmith
As the theatre world remembers the centenary of the First World War with a selection of moving dramas, it is perhaps inevitable that one would appear in this festival. Thankfully, Roger Goldsmith has written an excellent one-man short play that approaches the conflict in an unexpected and dramatically sound way. Jack Smith's story features vivid descriptive detail that is deceptively forensic but it works really well here, adding to the texture of the piece while building enough tension to allow the sad, shocking story to evolve satisfactorily. The character of Jack Smith is a gift to any actor and Joseph Lindoe's pitch-perfect performance captures the vulnerability and despair of a young man tortured by his memories. It might be an idea to consider book-ending this piece with music, if only to immediately establish time and mood. Otherwise, Colin Burden's direction complements play and Lindoe's performance beautifully.
Paul Vale One Act Festival