A Matter of Life and Death

UEA Studio, Norwich

> UEA Studio, Norwich

Do you remember that Forties film: the one where David Niven as squadron leader drops out of the sky without a parachute but lives, because love in the shape of Kim Hunter is shielding him from death?

It's one of those silver screen moments I've never forgotten.

The film it came from, A Matter of Life and Death, has now been adapted for the stage here in Norwich by local dramatists Jon Hyde and Jonty Rea.

Briefly: airman Peter Carter (Wayne Linge, in this production) is staring death in the face as he sits in his

blown-out cockpit, the rest of the crew having either baled out or died, and his only contact with the world is the remote voice from control base, over the radio.

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It belongs to June Warman (Siobhan Higgins), a Bostonian whom Carter falls instantly in love with. As he dives from the sky, God sends an emissary to pick him up, but Carter evades him, and is then pursued by the spirit world in various funny and surreal forms.

In this new stage version, the studio was swathed in white from floor to ceiling. It gave a calm and floaty feel to the space that was magical, heavenly and as Forties in feel as a Schiaparelli frock.

And as for the student cast, they were mesmerising. Well worth a look (but take a hanky).

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