Three Days in May is a history lesson, Winston Churchill and his war cabinet argue about the difficult situation between the British and the Nazis in May 1940. If I'm honest I didn't know much about these crucial three days in our country's history, and I left the Trafalgar Studios feeling much more educated but slightly ashamed of my pathetic historical knowledge.
Phenomenal casting brings this play to life, the obvious star of the show is Warren Clarke as Winston Churchill, who lives and breathes as the great leader. He is so convincing it could be mistaken for an impersonation... apart from looking almost identical, his croaking voice and gestures feel perfectly judged. The rest of the cabinet are suitably austere and the ensemble acting is on pointe throughout. The only actor I found a tad irritating was James Alper as Jock Colville, Churchill's young assistant. Alper is a narrator-like character and is rather pompous and patronising, over-annunciating every word and lecturing the audience.
The set by Gary McCann is bland and as a plain backdrop doesn't help the actors much. Though the acting was impressive, this is not a particularly thrilling topic for a play and at times I felt bored, luckily the Trafalgar Studios sells particularly yummy mint choc chip ice-cream which revitalised me in the interval and I enjoyed the second half more.
Three Days in May continues until 3 March 2012, book here.