A masterpiece of intimate theatre was performed at the Brewhouse in Taunton when Third Man Productions presented Stalag Happy.

2 performers held in perfect balance the wringing out every drop of credible emotion with music hall patter with more corn than a farmer’s field. Switching characters from 2 artists interned in the German POW camp in the 1940s to a German guard missing his wife and child and a prisoner slipping slowly into insanity, Edward Elks and Dan Frost took us into the fantasy worlds created to deal with the reality.

Simple staging using 2 doors and minimal props added to the intensity of the performance, and an appropriate backdrop of 40s music helped create the atmosphere, although on occasions it drowned out the dialogue – a great shame as I didn’t want to miss a word.

Stalag Happy is an insightful exploration of coping mechanisms in adversity, delivering a powerful evocation of the era. It is all the more resonant and remarkable as it is the dramatisation of the true story of the artists Sir Terry Frost and Adrian Heath, one of the young actors being the former’s grandson.