Mates stages Anzac Day show from April 26

ONE DAY: Ray Noonan of Capalaba plays Alf and Leo Wockner of Holland Park plays Wacka in The One Day of the Year, being staged by Mates Theatre Genesis.
ONE DAY: Ray Noonan of Capalaba plays Alf and Leo Wockner of Holland Park plays Wacka in The One Day of the Year, being staged by Mates Theatre Genesis.

Mates Theatre Genesis celebrates Anzac day in its own special way with the production of the 1960 play The One Day of the Year from April 26 to May 11.

The play was first staged in Adelaide creating an uproar with its questions about Australia's iconic day of military celebration. The play was temporarily banned despite being described by its playright Alan Seymour as "an innocent, harmless little play".

Written when Australian theatre was establishing its own identity, the play put ordinary, working class Australians and their language firmly in the spotlight. It probed the sacrosanct privacy of inter-generational family conflict, acknowledged an Australian class system driven by opportunity, money and education and challenged us to re-examine a national sense of self that was welded to our military history, even in defeat, expressed rthrough the celebration of Anzac Day.

While some authorities reacted with shock and dismay, audiences responded warmly to seeing something of themselves presented on stage and the play has become an established and respected part of Australian theatre.

While the original shock of the play's subject matter has diminished over the years it retains a current resonance in its story and its characters. Society has become more aware of the after-effects of war on the combatants and their families, of the savage post-conflict ripples that impact individuals and societies. The celebration of ANZAC Day has thus evolved, carried forward by the children and grandchildren of the combatants of many wars. Alan Seymour's iconic play remains a relevant reflection of our military and domestic history and the personal wounds that, for many, have not yet healed.

The play features actors Ray Noonan, Matthew Hodgson, Debbie Spearritt, Rianna Shoemaker and veteran actor Leo Wockner in the role of Wacka. It is directed by Jan Nary.

Performances are at 7.30pm on April 26 and 27, May 3, 4, 10 and 11. A 1pm performance on May 11 features a post show discussion with program ,anager of the Veteran Mental Health Initiative Margaret Bennett on the issue of PTSD, veteran mental health and the work of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation. This is a private research foundation conducting clinical trials, liver and respiratory cancer research and veteran mental health research.

The show will be staged at the Birkdale School of Arts hall, 101 Birkdale Road. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 concessions, $10 students and children under 15.

Book on matestg.org.au or phone 0416 836 196.