Many men who returned from what was called The Great War, WWI, were shattered individuals that ‘humped their blueys‘ into the bush to find solitude from a society that they can no longer integrate back into. Although this story is based on WWI more modern references interwoven suggest to me the more universal story of the terrible state in which we leave our forgotten warriors to struggle with alone.
This story is hilariously dark and breaks through the archetypal stoic character of the returned ANZACs as Tom Hall’s plays the ever-busy Digger in his bush camp, beautifully authentic design Anastassia Poppenberg, with his companion Bluey, a red healer – hilarious prop humour – and his billy tea.
Tortured by dreams of his mate who he lost in the war, a terrible, somewhat unimaginably horrible existence in the trenches where men found love and comfort sometimes amongst their brother in arms, a taboo that often was dealt with in extraordinarily brutal and demeaning manner when found out.
Digger’s life is about to change with the Poppinesque appearance of mysterious, crazy therapist Mary, also played by Tom Halls, who slips seamlessly between Digger, Mad Mary and an mc/announcer, faultlessly directed by Yvonne Virsik.
Digger finds some comfort and starts to regain his perspective with the timely intervention of Mary and somehow the healing begins.
Our collective consciousness about the events of war and the shame and horror perpetrated on our young men that are sent to war to fight for King and country is so often glossed over in heroic vestige that the uncomfortable truth is glossed over so often…this play breaches the lines to bring light on what was a lonely and painful reality for thousands of young Australian males.
Lest We Forget.
La Mama Courthouse
3-5 February 2017
Written and Performed by Tom Halls
Directed by Yvonne Virsik
Produced by Anastasia Ryan
Designed by Anastassia Poppenberg
Lighting Design by Jason Crick