(to be determined)
In 1917, 23 year-old Lt. Bill Acworth led ‘his boys’ in bitter fighting at the Battles of Passchendaele, Menin Road, and Broodseinde Ridge; 56 years later, he died of a stroke, leaving behind his second family, including 2 teenaged girls – me and my sister. We adored our Dad but did not know him, nor understand why he was the way he was – loving, loyal, angry, tough, impatient at miscommunication, and intolerant of fools. So, I read the letters and diaries of other soldiers who fought with him, to discover what happened to my father in the most formative time of his life – World War 1.
MY FATHER’S WARS is an AWGIE-nominated podcast series about those wartime experiences, and how they impacted him, and us, later, in family life.
MY FATHER’S WARS, AS I FOUND THEM… is the live performance of this story. Using text, physical and visual theatre, it charts two journeys – that of a young man toward adulthood in the cauldron of war and that of an adult child, in search of her father. It is a story of deep love and dedication, and unravelling that greatest of mysteries - who we are, and why we do what we do…
- Venue Format
- Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
- Technical Rating
- Touring Party
- 4 - (3 performers and 1 Stage Manager) TBC
• Bump-in and performance on the same day is possible. • The playing space is adaptable. (Power source required.) • Can perform 2 shows a day; however no more than 2 x 2-show days consecutively. N.B. only if performances are in the same venue. • The show is designed to be small and compact, requiring short bump-ins and minimal venue technical support however this work is scaleable. The subject matter, and performances, will more than fill a theatre space. Presenters interested in a ‘full-theatre’ performance - or using an outdoor space - should contact the producer. • The show tours with technical equipment (sound). It is heavily audio-oriented and can perform with only natural light but appreciates a general stage wash in a theatre. • Venue to provide Front of House staff, dressing rooms with tea-making facilities and a fridge. Laundry facilities would be appreciated.
This is in development - fee/remount costs may change slightly, though these are strongly indicative.
Assembly of Elephants is a new independent performance company focused on two things:
asking straightforward questions not often asked anymore, and
finding novel ways to do this that don’t cost a fortune.
We work in both live performance and audio, the latter offering a chance to test ideas with audiences more easily - it is relatively cheap to produce and distribute, it overcomes geographic and economic barriers to access to the arts, is available when people want it and where they want it (and, perhaps, can offer a small but regular income to artists and makers!)
So Assembly of Elephants works across both live and recorded mediums, and we believe the two work hand in glove - the ongoing life of My Father's Wars - its adaption for live performance - is a perfect example of this.
For our history please see the AoE website.
- Company Website
Unique Selling Point
This work appeals to our curiosity about our parents, the life they had before we existed – which then shaped us.… "(T)his story has a universal appeal. We would all love to know the story of our parents younger lives. It is how we connect ourselves to experiences that happened long before we were born…” Guy Webster, director.
The existing podcasts are an entry point: “…wonderful – a completely different experience… the two complement one another really well. … to go back and listen to the podcasts after seeing the show… is a real bonus for audiences…” Katie Woods, Public Engagement & Learning, QPAC.
The original podcast series, MY FATHER’S WARS, is available on State Library of Queensland’s website – http://qanzac100.slq.qld.gov.au/showcase/my-fathers-wars-podcasts
and on Apple Podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/my-fathers-wars/id1357566794
There are currently 2 videos of the creative development of MY FATHER’S WARS, AS I FOUND THEM…:
1 x 20 minute rehearsed reading of some scenes, featuring the action and physical style of the piece.
1 x 4.5 minute mini-documentary - brief interviews with writer, director, and actors (3) on their experience of working on the play (process, themes, characters).
An education pack, is being developed. Other material to be developed: marketing copy, instagram, production footage and images.
I think there will be a number of effects, or legacies:
• the experience of the performance – its intimacy, closeness, and themes will be memorable, particularly for those older community members whose living memory includes family who fought ‘over there’, or for ex-service men and women, particularly those trying to explain their experiences to family members with no familiarity with war;
• for students, a greater understanding of the specificities and individual experiences of war, told in a multi-genre dramatic form;
• the work provides teachers with more multi-disciplinary resources for history and English/Drama students;
• …” Having performed in shows about the Army and about PTSD and seeing the response from the men and women who came, I believe this show could travel to Army bases (as well as RSL’s/Schools and theatres)…” Zac Boulton, actor;
• A Q&A session would be available to interested communities as well as a variety of other resources and community engagement activities - please contact the producer. N.B. The writer is happy to engage with communities in the research and telling of their own histories.