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Style The £19.50 M&S crossbody to buy now and wear every single day

14:10  29 july  2022
14:10  29 july  2022 Source:   redonline.co.uk

Six weeks is all it takes: this plan will take you from couch to 5K in 42 days

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A nutritionist, a sheep farmer and a tailor are forced together in a prisoner of war camp. The result? A tale of friendship, defiance and resilience in the face of adversity.

The year is 1943; a group of allied soldiers held at the notorious and ‘inescapable’ Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp decide to join forces and plan an escape by digging three tunnels – Tom, Dick and Harry – 30 feet underground, all while under the watchful eye of the Nazi guards.

Many will recognise this story from the 1963 Hollywood hit The Great Escape – but forget the daredevil antics of Steve McQueen, this is the real deal. It may sound like a work of fiction, but the show is based on the real records of the escape. Using previously top secret documents such as Project X, a detailed account of the escape committee meetings documented by survivors, the New Vic Theatre and producer Kenny Wax pull off a play as creative as the escape itself.

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Amid the hardship comes something far more lighthearted. The ingenious script, written by Andrew Pollard, Michael Hugo and Theresa Heskins, pulls off the impressive feat of combining the bleakness and horrors of war with comedy and camaraderie.

Each using skills from their civilian occupations, the allies come up with imaginative and elaborate ways of realising their goal while disguising their master plan; the ’female cast’ of the christmas talent show and slo-mo boxing bout are a real joy to watch.

 (Alexandra Palace) © Provided by Evening Standard (Alexandra Palace)

Stellar performances come from Hugo and Pollard who never miss a beat as they seamlessly transition from desperate escapees to German officers guarding the prisoners. It’s not just the allies who keep the audience laughing; Moore’s performance as Fritz, a hapless guard, adds a pleasing slapstick element, while Fairs’ role as Giesler provides endless amusement as his temper frays with each failed attempt to discover the tunnels.

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Alongside quick witted and energetic dialogue, the circular stage, ever-changing lighting and war-time sound effects work harmoniously to fast forward, stop and even reverse time. The booming voice of the faceless narrator shares details about the prisoners’ previous lives – a poignant reminder that each soldier was once an ordinary civilian, unaffected by the horrors of war. It is this stark realisation that leaves us questioning whether our tears are of laughter or sadness.

While this is a story of captivity, hardship and courage, it is, above all, a tale of friendship, and told in a production in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Setting aside borders, language and cultural differences for the greater good, a group of strangers unite in the relentless pursuit of freedom. For these men, no problem is without a solution, no amount of hardship can suppress their spirit, and there is no truer phrase than their uniting motto “Per ardua ad astra” - through adversity, to the stars.

Alexandra Palace, to August 31; buy tickets here

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Picnic outfit ideas: How to dress when eating alfresco this summer .
Looking for picnic outfit ideas? This is what a fashion expert recommends for outdoor dining this summerWhether you’re meeting up with friends, spending time with your significant other, or enjoying time with your family, there’s something joyous about eating outside. And, while good food and company might be guaranteed, the weather isn’t always quite so reliable. This, coupled with the fact that you’re likely to be perched on a blanket, rather than sitting on a chair, makes choosing what to wear to a picnic that bit trickier.

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