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Bamforth essay

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Adam Noctor Bamforth Essay The Long and the Short and the Tall is set in the Malayan jungle in the Second World War. The British army have retreated to Singapore at the end of the Malayan Peninsula and the Japanese army are moving down the peninsula advancing on them. The play is about a British patrol sent out from Singapore to discover the movements of the Japanese army. The patrol have stopped in an old mining hut to rest and the play concentrates on the relationships between the soldiers. The author Willis Hall wrote the play in 1958 for the Edinburgh Fringe. In the audience there would have been many war veterans so Willis Hall had to involve military slang and make the play sound realistic. The play is about human survival stretched to its limits. You can feel the sense of isolation when seven men are trapped in a hut and their only contact with the outside world is a faulty radio transmitter. In the first act of the play the situation hasn't sunk in and all the men are having a banter and a laugh. However, when a prisoner is captured, tempers flare and authority is questioned. ...read more.


The exception to this is Sergeant Mitchem. Mitchem handles Bamforth by being cocky just like Bamforth is to the rest of the platoon. Bamforth's attitude to the N.C.Os, however, is different. At the beginning of the play Bamforth is very cocky and teases everyone all the time and doesn't know when to stop. He does not have any respect, apart from Evans who is his little welsh sidekick. Evans is not as cocky or outrageous as Bamforth, but will stand up for him, even though he is subject to a lot of stick from Bamforth. He is very stubborn, especially when it comes to defending himself or the Japanese prisoner. He is almost like a lawyer figure in the hut. Compared to the other members of the platoon, The characters are designed to contrast. They are all very stereotypical and are very easy to guess what they are going to be like. There is a lot of regional hostility mainly compared by which area has the most fights on a Friday night. When the Japanese soldier comes into the story, the plot changes, especially regarding Bamforth. When the Japanese soldier is captured and held by Johnstone, Evans is given the daunting task of putting a bayonet into his guts. ...read more.


You see a side of Bamforth that is different from what we have previously seen earlier in the play. He is kind towards the prisoner and has more respect for him than Johnstone or Mitchem, his own officers. Bamforth dies with dignity. When he then goes out of the hut and gets shot he can die knowing he has done something right. I think an audience would be surprisingly attached to Bamforth as a character as many of them would probably have known or secretly been like that in the armed forces. However, the ladies in the audience may be a bit offended by some of Bamforth's language towards woman and their sexual purpose. Although he doesn't appear friendly, Bamforth at times could be a funny and nice person to talk to although probably mocking you in the process. I think Bamforth's character is very imaginative from Willis Hall. He is the main character in the play and most writers would love to make a character like this. Bamforth heavily adds to the success of the play. In my opinion the play The Long the Short and the Tall is a play about humans killing in cold blood. Can men kill another fellow human being outside of a battle situation? In conclusion, the play was great fun and is one of the best dramas I've ever taken part in. ...read more.

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