It would be hard to imagine a more fitting venue for Somewhere in England than a decommissioned airbase museum, the pop-up theatre surrounded by memories of a time when the Americans invaded East Anglia.
Polly Wiseman’s absorbing play contrasts the vicious racism of the US Army with the relative colour blindness of the East of England, and is performed by a universally excellent cast that showcases the subtlety of her writing.
To his great cost, Nathanael Campbell’s Joe cannot help but reveal his wisdom and empathy. Joshua Hayes’s Chester is not so much a racist as a reasonable man capitulating to pressure.
Georgia Brown’s Viv appears strong, yet lets their romance drift. Grace Osborn’s Ginny is the drama’s moral centre, yet her actions precipitate disaster.
A subplot involving campaigner Walter White is arguably more distracted than illuminating – it’s already clear that Joe’s plight is representative of a wider issue – but this is a minor quibble.
This was powerful writing superbly performed.