Socialist Worker

Grounded - a play that's an antidote to pro-war blockbusters

by Ruairi O'Neill
Issue No. 2441

Lucy ellinson plays a nameless combat pilot in Grounded

Lucy ellinson plays a nameless combat pilot in Grounded

If you’re looking for an antidote to last month’s sickening pro-war propaganda blockbuster American Sniper, you could do worse than the play Grounded. 

Actor Lucy Ellinson brilliantly plays a nameless combat pilot in playwright George Brant’s gripping monologue. 

Ellinson’s character is a “top gun” F16 fighter pilot in the US Air Force. 

But her career is ended when she falls pregnant. Now she sits in an air-conditioned trailer in Las Vegas flying remote control drones above the Middle East. 

Ellinson’s character struggles through surreal 12-hour shifts, bombing the region while far from the battlefield during the day and then being a wife and mother at night. 

Brant’s play captures the intensity, confusion and despair of the pilot’s existence.

It effectively transitions from the adrenaline-pumping atmosphere of a physical war zone to a digitised, joystick-operated desk job.

But this raises perplexing moral and ethical questions in the play of rights and wrongs and life and death. 

The play shows drone operating as a detached and twisted form of computer gaming. 

It confronts modern warfare’s brutality and horror in an honest and thought-provoking manner. A must see.

Grounded. By George Brant. The current leg of the tour ended on 19 February but new dates will be announced soon. Go to


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Article information

Tue 17 Feb 2015, 15:56 GMT
Issue No. 2441
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