Alan Seymour’s classic 1958 play about Anzac Day is getting a reading from a new generation of actors unfamiliar with the controversy surrounding the original performances of the play.
When first performed in the early 1960s, those involved in the production and the playwright received death threats, so offensive did the public find the subject of the play.
The work pits uni student Hughie against his returned WWII soldier father when Hughie refuses to attend the dawn service and shows up in the alcohol-fuelled celebrations of the diggers in the student newspaper.
“Yes, especially among people my age... I think we’re a lot more supportive today.”
Samson goes to his local service most years, and says he is excited to “play a role that has such strong views,” even if the views aren’t the same as his.
I asked him what he thinks the audience will take away from this reading.
“Hopefully,” he said, “the same reaction as I did when I first read it. I had no idea younger people had such views back then. So I hope audiences learn something new.”
All proceeds go to Actors’ Benevolent Fund.
Apr 26. Fringe HQ (Formerly Old 505 Theatre), 5 Eliza St, Newtown. $40+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.trybooking.com