The issues facing returned service men and women will be explored in a powerful new play presented by artists and researchers from Griffith University at the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC) in June.
Based on interviews with ex-servicemen and their families, the cast features ex-military personnel, as well as professional actors.
“The Return is a visceral and raw portrayal of the ongoing trauma experienced by many of former military personnel,’’ said writer and director Linda Hassall. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, Dr Hassall knows only too well the difficulties experienced by former service personnel and their families.
“When my Dad came home, he was really damaged. His behaviour was bad, the drinking was bad and he couldn’t sustain a relationship. So, I feel really close to the subject matter,” she said.
Griffith University Chair in Applied Theatre Professor Michael Balfour said the production was the result of a three-year research project.
“What I wanted to draw attention to was that although the wars’ in Afghanistan and Iraq are over, for many, another kind of war is only beginning.
“The impact on relationships is one of the key themes that the performance tackles. A lot of the emotional conflict tends to be hidden behind closed doors, with the play we’re trying to show you those things that people aren’t talking about or are too afraid to discuss.
“For service personnel and their families it’s a chance to look at a performance and ask them is this your story? It’s also motivation for people to seek help.”
Key military and veteran support organisations have been part of the two-year creative development process, providing feedback throughout and ensuring that the play is an authentic representation of the issues. Proceeds of the play will be donated to local veteran support organisations.
Interviews with cast and production team on request.
WHAT: The Return (World Premiere)
WHEN: June 25 7.30pm, June 26 2.30pm & 7.30pm
WHERE: BEMAC Theatre, 102 Main Street Kangaroo Point
MEDIA CONTACT: Deborah Marshall 0413 156 601, [email protected]