Friend or Foe – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Evacuated from London, David and Tucky feel like the war is a long way away from their new life in the Devon countryside. Then one night the skyline of the moor is lit up with gun flashes, and the distant crump of bombing miles away brings the war back to them and shatters their new-found peace.

Now playing at Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Michael Morpurgo’s novel Friend or Foe, has received 5 star reviews.

By coincidence, or careful planning, press night for Friend or Foe falls seventy-five years to the day since Britain went to war with Germany. When Chamberlain spoke and the first sirens wailed, Operation Pied Piper was already underway, relocating thousands of evacuee children to the relative safety of the countryside.

This adaptation … captures wonderfully the sense of a Boy’s Own adventure, and the anguish, holding the audience rapt as the story unfolds.

This is a magical piece of theatre – the stylistic river scene is superbly realised with sound, light and kitchen furniture – which combines a rattling good yarn with reflections on friendship, patriotism and the waste of war. It speaks directly to us all – from the young children in the front row to the real-life evacuee in our midst, who has vivid memories of her own journey to Devon, seventy-five years ago …

Runs until September 13

The Public Reviews

Other Articles


I Believe in Unicorns 2105 at Vaudeville Theatre Photo Credit: Richard Davenport. Award-winning storyteller Danyah Miller brings best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s treasured story to life. This intimate show is set in a library full of books that hold more than stories within their pages. It is a tale of… Read More

The Mozart Question at The Barn Theatre, Cirencester

Three years in the planning, the Exclusive World Premiere of Sir Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Mozart Question’ opens at the Barn on the 21st March until the 30th April. Regarded by Michael as his most important work, ‘The Mozart Question’ follows Paolo Levi, a violin impresario, as he recounts his parent’s… Read More

Private Peaceful UK theatre tour

Now touring until 9 July 2022 The Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, have a tough rural childhood facing the loss of their father, financial hardship and a cruel landlord. Their fierce loyalty to each other pulls them through, until one day they both fall for the same girl. And then… Read More