Damaged by war and haunted by home, Private Dylan Moxley’s life is changed forever the moment he steps from the Pinkenba wharf. Under the care of Sister Nellie Morrice in the No.2 Australian General Hospital in Cairo, he attempts to come to terms with the loss of his best mate. Nellie bravely guides Dylan through a series of experimental cures for shell shock hoping to alleviate the horrors of ‘Snipers Ridge’ and free him from the torment of war's sights and sounds.

[Disordered] Action of the Heart is a touching foray into the minds and personal struggles of our soldiers and their nurses during WW1. One of a Pair brings to life an unforgettable story; a tale of two that tells the tale of many. This is storytelling at its best, told through letters, music and moments of surrealism; its resonance is unchanged by the passage of time. These moving themes of return, consequence and loss are as relevant to today’s returning servicemen and women, as they were a hundred years ago.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
D, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party
2 x actors; 1 x Production manager

The performance contains psychological themes and the character Private Moxley smokes onstage.

One of a Pair aim to find new ways to tell known stories. Our work focuses on telling Australian stories that challenge dominant narratives or give voice to otherwise marginalised groups.

Specialists in Museum Theatre, One of a Pair draws on detailed research into historical records such as letters, diaries, official military records, and interviews transcripts that are available from public institutions and private collections. We then play with our research to find character, story and form that provides new insights into Australian narratives.

One of a Pair is James Trigg and Craig Wood. James brings a wealth of experience as an independent theatre actor and festival coordinator. Craig is an experienced researcher, writer and teacher. One of a Pair's previous work includes: Dear Mrs Edmondson, a Museum Theatre piece, written by Craig and directed by James, considering the grief of a mother who only son was killed during the Easter Battle of Tobruk. First Clown’s Lament was written and directed by Craig and featured James in an original take on Hamlet. The new perspective on the classic empowered the voices of the Gravedigger (First Clown) and Yorrick in a retelling of Act V through the eyes of the Gravedigger.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

Audience analysis including target markets appears at oneofapair.com.au/uploads/2/7/0/2/27021422/dah_-_audience_feedback_analysis.pdf

Analysis demonstrated [Disordered] Action of the Heart was a unique experience, particularly noting the show changed or enhanced knowledge of Australians in WW1. "The depth of male character and experiential view of the events which he experienced took me to some places I could barely imagine being. Very effective” (F, 31-55).

The experience of Museum Theatre was described as “very successful merging" (F, 31-55) and “Beautifully represented. Truthful and delicate. Very touching.” (F, 31-55).

Australian Defence personnel said "...(we) were overwhelmed with the power and intensity of the performance. Brilliant work." (M, 31-55).

Marketing Materials

Company website with links to the production

Production images from premiere season at Adelaide Fringe Festival

[Disordered] Action of the Heart includes teacher notes aligned to the Australian Curriculum in History and The Arts (Drama).

Community Engagement

[Disordered] Action of the Heart is based on detailed research on the experiences of Queenslanders who enlisted in the Australian Infantry Forces. Our central character is a composite of this research. One of a Pair are able to create front of house displays that highlight the experience of regional communities and demonstrate how men of particular communities have influenced the creation of Private Dylan Moxley. We can similarly work with local historical societies, Returned Service League branches, and schools to commemorate the experiences of men and women from a community.