War brought to Australia

November 17, 1993

Written by Lars Noren
Directed by Frank McNamara
New Theatre, Newtown, Sydney
Until August 21
Bookings (02) 9519 8958


War, written by one of Europe's most prolific playwrights, is a confronting, incisive portrayal of the horrors of war — examining the way it mutates normal human relations into a bare quest for survival.

War is being performed at Newtown's New Theatre, which was founded in 1932 as Sydney's Workers Art Club, on the Brechtian principle of "art as a weapon". War was brought to Australia by Anne-Louise Luccarini, because "it is important for people to understand why there are refugees and why we can't put them behind barbed wire for three years because they come from places with no hope".

War clearly delivers its "end war, support refugees" message. In Kosova, a fatherless family is left in a conflict-ravaged village. Ghosts of their former life cause a nightmarish daily existence. The mother, played superbly by Elaine Hudson, hangs onto her humanity by a bare thread, through her love of her husband's brother. Performances of all cast members were tight and polished.

Despite its subject matter, which includes rape, prostitution and torture, War doesn't leave you without optimism. New beginnings based on human solidarity is the resounding theme. See it for yourself.

From Green Left Weekly, August 11, 2004.
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