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Long Tan

  • $22.99 GST included
  • In stock: 2
Title: Long Tan
Author: Laughton, Verity
Price: $22.99

Cast : 1F, 11M (doubling possible)

This is Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, August 1966. This is a rubber plantation called Long Tan.

This is blood and mud and sweat-sodden heat. It’s gunfire, mortars and pounding rain. It’s 108 Australians and New Zealanders and 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers locked in a ferocious battle. For the young men fighting through the raging monsoon, it’s something like the end of the world.

After the battle, 17 Australians (plus another lost later from wounds) and more than 245 Vietnamese would lie dead. Many more would carry enduring physical and emotional scars of their experiences that day.

Verity Laughton’s intense and moving semi-verbatim play is composed from interviews with the surviving Australian soldiers, Vietnamese contributors, and the family and friends of those who died. More than a recounting of one battle, it is an exploration of the trauma of war, the fractures in collective memory, and the need to forgive.

‘And tonight I will have another sleepless night.
We always do. The worst time in our lives is August.
We don’t sleep in August.’




VERITY LAUGHTON is an award-winning playwright and poet. Laughton’s more than 30 produced works have been seen in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, the UK and the USA. They include main-stage adult dramas, adaptations, plays for children and families, radio plays, a promenade community event, and a musical. Her works include Long Tan, The Red Cross Letters (short-listed for the 2013 Rodney Seaborn Prize), Ella, The Sweetest Thing (nominated for the 2012 NSW Premier’s Award and the Rodney Seaborn Award), A Crate of Souls, Ghostie, Lone Bird, The Nargun and the Stars, Gondwana, Respect, The Gizmo, A Neutral Script, The Snow Queen, A World of Paper, Piercing the Skin, Koala Lou, The Mourning After, and I Saw a Dinosaur. She was awarded the 2009 Adelaide’s Critic’s Circle Best New Australian Play for Carrying Light, the 2009 Inscription Award for The Ice Season, the 2004 Community Theatre AWGIE for The Lightkeeper, the 2004 Best Radio Drama AWGIE for Fox, and the 2001 Griffin Prize for Burning. Laughton’s poetry and prose have been published in a range of literary and other publications. She is a member of the 7-ON group of playwrights.

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On a hot, rain sodden afternoon in 1966, in the glutinous mud of a rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam, 108 Australian soldiers clashed with approximately 2,500 North Vietnamese troops. In the ensuing battle, 18 Australians were killed and more than 245 North Vietnamese.

Long Tan parachutes audiences and readers into the soldiers' experience - gunfire, mortar fire, pounding rain, insect clouds, screams and sudden silence - all orchestrated with sonic intensity to capture the pandemonium and entrapment under fire.

Composed from interviews with the surviving Australian soldiers, Vietnamese contributors and family and friends of those who died, Long Tan isn't simply a work about a contentious time and iconic battle. Rather, it's a meditation on the fractures in collective memory, the consequences of extreme demands on human beings in military conflict, and the need for forgiveness, empathy and faith in our common humanity.

Publisher: Currency Press Pty Ltd
Publication date: 27/09/2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760622411
Publishing status: Active
Long Tan