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.