A Very Special Event - Legacy fundraiser @ Nambour Civic Centre
A BRIGHT AND CRIMSON FLOWER
A tribute to the Australian prisoners of war 1942 - 45. A story of ingenuity, humour, mateship and a sheer will to survive.
A Bright & Crimson Flower celebrates the triumph of the Australian and the human spirit. It is written by Richard Davey from memoirs, broadcast and personal interviews, published books and unpublished diaries and personal records. It is an extraordinary celebration of an extraordinary event in the history of Australia.
The captivity of 22,000 young Australians after the fall of Singapore and the battles of Timor, Ambon and Java in 1942 lasted for three and a half years under appalling conditions. One in three died but the others made it back home. It was the greatest feat of endurance in the history of modern Australia. Official interviews with survivors were geared to accounts of atrocities committed by the Japanese; the rest was disregarded. But the experience of the men and women was one of a stubborn will to survive, of wit and ingenuity, comradeship and care, even in the worst of times - that's what this play is all about.
"Without a doubt it is the best play I have ever experienced .... Haunting and touching... I was left breathless and aching inside" Melita Chen
Six Aussie blokes, young and not so young - Doug, Blue, Wag, Ray, Snow and Spud - held prisoner by the army of a people whose language and customs they know almost nothing about: their world has vanished. To survive they have to re-invent themselves! To survive the have to re-invent themselves! They take classes in everything from advertising to vitamins, they scrounge, pilfer, improvise, build and conceal radios, and quite apart from building the Burma Railway under horrendous conditions, they organize sports carnivals, mount theatrical productions and create everything from false teeth to surgical instruments - and end the war by playing a cricket match!
Ex POW, Arch Flanagan said the play "captured just right the spirit of those dramatic times: the humour, the hardship, the mateship and the sadness." He also said it told his family many thins he never has or ever could relay to them.
The production is on at the Nambour Civic Centre on Friday 21 August 7.30pm & Saturday 22 August 7.30pm. Phone 5475 7777 or book on line at www.nambourciviccentre.com.au
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