Loving the Enemy at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall is a one man show which is both funny and moving, and ultimately uplifting with a message which resonates every bit as strongly today.
The story starts in 1940 when Hugo Ricci, a young Scots-Italian working in the family business in Glasgow, finds himself questioning his identity and loyalties at a time when Italy had yet to decide what side it was on in the War. He lived in Scotland, but his heritage and his family’s roots were in Italy. Amidst attacks on Italian-owned shops and businesses, Hugo meets and falls in love with a girl called Mhairi. Soon after, Mussolini declared war on Great Britain and France, and Italian men living in Scotland were being taken away and “detained” in interment camps, whilst Mhairi’s brother was warning her to stay away from “enemies of the British”.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story here, but when Hugo joined the British Army he was given a hard time by many of his superiors, and when Armistice with Italy was declared in the autumn of 1943 he was sent to work with German Prisoners of War. Being in close proximity to these men, some of whom were little more than boys, Hugo eventually came to see them as not “the enemy”, but as people, and realised that they too had suffered so much because of the war.
Performed with great depth of feeling and emotion by Lorenzo Novani, Loving the Enemy was written by Hilda De Felice based on her Italian’s father’s real-life story of his time in the British Army during the Second World War.
Loving the Enemy
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
Group: Lorenzo Novani
Review by Lisa Sibbald