By Lilian Harrington
Snapshots from Home
By Marjory Forde
Directed by Maria Plumb
The Ron Hurley Theatre Centre
Corner Tallowwood St. and Griffith Place, Seven Hills
From March 5 – 20, to book www.villanovaplayers.com via Try booking, or phone 0423920832.
This punchy, award winning work, written by local playwright and actor Margery Forde, creates an impact on viewers; it is both thought provoking and entertaining, because it focuses on a period in our history, that serves as a timely reminder of the dangerous perils and stresses that World War 2 brought to local families in Queensland; Forde brings to life the detailed stories from twenty - four Queensland interviewees, survivors of this period, and records verbatim their war time experiences; in doing so, she creates a narrative-style drama. Through the eyes of those who were there, she portrays, a staged drama, of what our Australian sons went through in World War 2, as they recall real life events on the 50th anniversary of the end of this war.
Forde has tactfully approached their experiences and cleverly crafted a genuinely holistic portrayal of nostalgic scenes from the Queensland war experience, in a style that many viewers can relate to; she’s shown how conflict affected people through a mix of emotions, displayed through sadness, thoughtfulness, cruelty, and the fun that was part of life in this transient period, in history. These recollections are interspersed with the personalised recounts and complimented with well-known songs and dances of the era, which both embellish and colour the stage- narrative and encourage viewer enjoyment and participation.
This dramatic narrative has been tightly woven together under the detailed and experienced eye of director Maria Plumb, with choreography from Lynette Wockner, and musical leadership and expertise from Rosemary Murray. Further, the clever AV design, overhead interviews and lighting effects compiled by Rod Thompson, really adds a depth and design to the background and format of the show which in turn facilitates the viewer’s appreciation and understanding of the war time scenes being performed on- stage. It provides a clear window into a difficult time in our history and it is a reflective reminder of those important days.
The team work and confidence shown by the whole cast was commendable. There were strong performances from Patrick Eavens and other cast, as they related the stories of this war -time experience in Queensland, between the 1930’s and 1940’s.
The dramatized scenes encouraged the audience to reflect and respond as they reacted to the horrors of the war time experience; i.e. viewers heard of instances where the news of a lost loved one, wasn’t conveyed to a family in an appropriate way. Audience responded to familiar events, sang familiar songs, or muttered as they heard of lengthy wartime separations which caused many families to drift apart, family despair and upheaval, or economic hardships and the need to man- power women into jobs in these years; viewers responded with amusement as stories of cultural change occurring in Queensland were related; or nods of recognition, as women spoke of their new independence and change to traditional roles, and attitudes, as new opportunities for some opened up for them for further studies, or to work in new job fields.
Costuming, set-design, sound effects and lighting, were kept simple, coupled with some innovative on -stage sound effects from cast, which helped to create an interesting atmosphere and encouraged audience interaction.