MOVING multimedia show Landscape II explores a female war correspondent’s struggles to cope with the brutal execution of her friend in Afghanistan.
Vivian has returned to her family home in Devon suffering post traumatic stress syndrome what she has witnessed, when she comes across a number of letters and diary entries from her great great grandmother Beatrice.
Only through reading and understanding Beatrice does Vivian begin to be able to face her demons and overcome her trauma.
“Female experience is something I’m very interested in,” explains writer and performer Melanie Wilson.
“There isn’t much space for women to have independent thought, particularly in Beatrice’s time but even in the modern world.
“Writing in 1899, I think Beatrice is rooted in the landscape, she is a sort of free thinking woman, unusual for her time.
“She writes a lot about solitude and how that is important for women and how it’s a good strategy for engaging the outside world which propels Vivian to face her demons.
“It’s about making space for yourself and embracing the difficulty of solitude as a character enriching experience.”
Wilson said that through the plot, the play told the stories of three women; Vivian herself, Beatrice and the Afghan woman Mina.
“They are all thinking and trying to live in a way which is more on their own terms, but each woman has a radically different place to do that in,” Wilson adds.
The writer and actor says she was inspired to write the play, not only by the beauty of the Devon landscape which is incorporated into the show via film projections, but by media coverage of the atrocities happening in the Middle East at the time.
“I was writing the piece and at the same time, certain new events of women being executed in Afghanistan in violent ways. It infiltrated my thinking really.
“As an artist and a woman, I wanted to engage with those things.
“It is not overtly political but, like everything I do, it does have elements in it.”
Landscape II will be at Warwick Arts Centre on October 25 and 26.