ORLANDO – On a cold island where it seems relatively easy to find solitude, an aging sheep farmer has a chance encounter with a young British soldier. As they start up a conversation, it will eventually grow into a brief but strong friendship between them.
They’re on the Falkland island, and both came by way of Britain. The sheep farmer’s parents were so traumatized by the devastating Nazi bombings during World War II that the family opted to resettle on Falkland, since the island has been a British territory since 1841 and is mostly inhabited by British residents. The young solider, wide-eyed and fairly green, just arrived from Belfast.
But the soldier isn’t there to learn farming or to get a local job. He’s a British soldier, and has been sent there to hold back the attempt by the Argentinian government to reclaim the island — by force.
The farmer, who as a child lived through the Nazi Blitzkrieg, knows only too well that this conflict has the potential for a devastating conclusion — and that’s long before the bombs start dropping nearby.
“Falkland,” the historic drama being presented by Tasty Monsters Production and premiering at Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, takes a look back at a small chapter in history from the early 1980s, one that’s been far eclipsed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is almost certainly totally unknown to most younger patrons.
It’s a production that deals with a difficult mix of subjects — war, political conflicts, nationalism — that have plenty of resonance today, despite the fact that the Falklands War happened for 10 weeks in 1982. At the same time, the show’s producers and performers, Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball, deal with it in a quiet, low-key manner, allowing the human drama to take precedence over the politics. Continue reading