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Martha's War on War

  • $26.95 GST included
  • In stock: 1
Title: Martha's War on War
Author: McKenzie, Sally
Price: $26.95

From the award-winning writer of Scattered Lives comes
Martha's War On War.

Drawing from the writer’s family history, Martha's War On War highlights the emotional battles waged at home by loved ones while their boys fought at the front 10,000 miles away. This political work chronicles Australia’s stand against military conscription when the issue was put to the vote in the 1916 and 1917 referendums. Australia’s Women’s Peace Army staged anti-conscription campaigns at a time when Australia was one of the few countries worldwide that allowed women the right to vote. This meant that Australian women made a significant impact on the outcome of the referendums, both of which were defeated. Through the lens of one family's personal experience, Martha’s War On War charts this unique time in Australia, a time when forty percent of Australia’s male population volunteered to enlist in World War 1.

Cast Breakdown
Original Casting: One Female Actor plays: Narrator, Martha, Sergeant Major with all the other roles filmed before the live production and then incorporated in the live performance.

Alternate Casting: Female: 4 Male: 7 For larger groups the Narrator, Martha and Sergeant Major can be played by different actors and the Screen Roles - Screen Arch, Screen Martha, Screen John, Screen Doug, Screen Warwick, Screen Ella, Screen Arch Junior, Screen Keith - played live.


Martha’s War On War is a solo-performance work for one female performer who steps in and out of the dramatic action to play the central characters of the Narrator and Martha. Martha’s fourth-wall world is inhabited by screen characters – her husband Arch Senior, daughter Ella and sons Arch, John, Douglas, Keith and Warwick. Based on the writer’s family history, the play contrasts the son’s active service at the front with Martha’s developing questioning of Australia’s involvement in World War 1. The Narrator interacts with the audience through direct-address.

Reviews
'I sincerely recommend this powerful play''. Maureen Billiau, Corinda State High School

'It is a great performance for students to see who are studying Documentary Drama, one person show or Verbatim Theatre’. Melissa Newton-Turner Head of Faculty - The Arts St Rita’s College

‘The ultimate power of the production was in its residual effect - its ability to inspire thought. The audience continued to reflect upon the meaning of the piece long after it ended. The soldiers became people. Indifferent footnotes took form and life. Martha’s War On War allowed the audience to appreciate the fact of their humanity’. Sienna Gardner Year 10 Drama Student

‘Our year 10, 11 and 12 English, History and Drama students thoroughly engaged in this powerful one-person show that successfully manipulated the many conventions, including Epic Theatre, into a stand-out performance’. Jasmine Dive Drama-English Teacher Miami State High School

Production
Martha’s War On War was conceptualized to tour into high school venues. A semi-circular floor cloth delineates the performance space - also defined by a screen upstage, which works as a projection area and for shadow play. The show’s vision and sound Qs provide context and other times forward the narrative as the screen characters interact with the live performer. The production tours with an ultra short-throw projector with a high lumen rate, providing extra sharp images. The screen scenes were filmed exclusively for the production with a great cast of performers.

Teacher & Student Feedback
'A beautifully orchestrated performance that fuses a range of dramatic conventions to tell the most intimate and poignant tale of Australian family history. McKenzie gives voice to the silenced Mothers and Women on the home-front drawing upon historical documents, photos, songs and personal letters'…

Stimulus
We are currently in the centenary of World War 1 AKA the Great War, which ran from 1914 to 1918. As members of the Australia Imperial Force, the writer's Grandfather and Great Uncles fought in WW1 at the Gallipoli and Western Front offensives. The writer's Great Uncle Howard Douglas McKenzie lost his life at Pozières. Tracing the train of letters that followed his death between the writer's Great Grandparents and the A.I.F., provided a very personal lens through which to view Australia’s involvement in a war that many Australians questioned, so much so that the referendum to vote for conscription during WW1 was lost not once but twice.

The writer's Grandfather, Major J.B.F. McKenzie served as a Doctor during the war at No. 1 Australian Stationary Hospital in Zeitoun, Gallipoli, Lemnos and Ismailia before joining the 8th Australian Field Ambulance France. Wounded at Passchendaele, then promoted to Senior Medical Officer he returned to Australia in November 1918 having served almost 4 years in the Great War.

Writer Performer
Sally McKenzie trained as an actor at Australia’s foremost actor-training school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She holds a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Acting from NIDA and a Master of Fine Arts from the Queensland University of Technology. She has performed leading and ensemble roles with all major theatre companies Australia-wide including the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of S.A., La Boite Theatre Company and Belvoir Street. TV productions include Country Practice, Prisoner, The Flying Doctors and younger audiences recognize her as Mystic Marg from TV series Mortified.

Sally’s credits as a writer include the popular Scattered Lives and idotluvdotu ☺, which were both nominated for the highest performance writing award given in Australia, an AWGIE, awarded by the Australian Writers’ Guild. As a screenwriter, Sally won an AWGIE for Best Documentary in 2014. Her film Acting Class of 1977 charts her actor training years.

Publication date: 01/01/2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780958051637
Publishing status: Active
Martha's War on War