Some of the best plays at this years Fringe to deal with WWI, involve a strong element of fantasy. The Bunker Trilogy explores the experiences of soldiers and civvies through the medium of mythology. The first chapter, Morgana, is inspired by the Arthurian legends and tells the story of troops in a reserve line at Flanders, haunted by the spectre-like figure of Morgana Le Fey. The audience enters a dugout, ducking beneath the corrugated roofing. The room is dank, muddy but festooned with soldierly home-comforts. Two Tommies are enthusiastically singing Christmas carols and as the last spectators file in, a third enters ready for the drama to begin.
The dialogue is fired off like a Lewis gun and authentically replicates the banter of three friends from Edwardian Britain, all of whom are well-defined and believable characters. The Arthurian element is skilfully incorporated; initially a childhood game between thirteen (now three) friends, there’s a semi-consciousness of the fact that real events – such as a complicated love triangle – reflect the mythology. Along with fractured sequencing, it explores trauma-induced fragmentation of subjectivity, held together through a collective juvenile fantasy. An adaptation of real originality and a perfect opening to a great trilogy.