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Reviews round-up

Issue No. 2456

Danish drama 1864 shows horror of war

This Danish drama tells the story of the 1864 War between Denmark and Prussia through the diary of Inge, the daughter of a Danish baron. 

It focuses on brothers Peter and Laust Jensen who are both in love with Inge. They enthusiastically enlist in the army during a ferment of nationalism.  

The series skips between the 1860s and the present day. 

It is narrated by Claudia, a despairing young woman in present day Denmark who feels she has no future. She gets a job looking after an old baron, who’s related to Inge. 

Claudia finds Inge’s journal and begins reading it together with the baron. 

Through Inge’s writing we get a sense of the horror of war, which is portrayed with powerful symbolism. 

It affects Claudia, who lost her brother in a more recent war—in Afghanistan. 

The series also ranges through 19th century politics. Both the Danish and Prussian ruling classes try and build up a sense of “national identity” after the 1848 revolutions. 

It is a brilliant abridged history of middle class nationalist movements, told through the eyes of different classes facing war.

Richard Stephens

1864, BBC4, 9pm Sundays or on BBC iPlayer

Palestinian play tells story of Bethlehem siege

The Siege is a play inspired by a true story from the second Palestinian Intifada in 2002. 

It tells how a group of Palestinian fighters were besieged by the Israeli army in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem for 39 days.

These performances are part of the first tour of Britain by the Freedom Theatre of Jenin refugee camp, Palestine.

The Siege, The Freedom Theatre of Jenin. 10 and 11 June, Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham NG1 5AF
Tickets £14, £12 concessions

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Tue 2 Jun 2015, 15:45 BST
Issue No. 2456
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