The preshow talk titled Impossible Conversations: Philosophies of War and Peace is chaired by AC Grayling along with Brigadier Neil Baverstock and Bettany Hughes. It is a short discussion on the concept of peace and war. The precious running time of 45 minutes is taken up by excepts from Art of War to Winston Churchill read out by actors. This may set the tone of the discussion but somehow come across as distracting as the quality of the discussion and questions is high. Hughes comes across as especially well informed and a pleasure to listen to. Perhaps it will be better to shift those readings to a pre show prerequisite and the allotted time can be fully utilised for the discussion.
This new play by Peter Gill runs for three hours with two intervals and that is not great news for being jet-lagged. I had to rely on a bit of caffeine to see me through the first act but by the second act, I was really suffering. So sadly, I had to leave at the second interval. But from what I have seen, the play sets during the aftermath of the first world war is an intellectual discussion on the process of drawing up the Treaty of Versailles and the implications of various contentious issues which stem from it. There is a large cast to put various points of view across and the arguments are presented in a clever and comprehensible manner. Though what suffers is the back stories of these characters and their inter relationships can be confusing at times.