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Ginger Mick at Gallipoli: Review

Australian Classical Theatre - a scene from Ginger Mick at Gallipoli

Thy On, The Australian

At times it feels as though the contemporary theatre scene is busily importing four star hits and salivating over celebrity actors or trying to develop a stable of sexy, young post-modern playwrights. Thanks heavens, then, for Australian Classical Theatre’s devotion to dusting off the cobwebs from Australia’s literary heritage…

Stewart Morritt directed the all male cast with humour and imaginative flair. It bore the company’s stamp of boisterous and sweaty entertainment. The multi-talented cast gave highly physical performances, they sang a mix of world war one era songs, mischievously inserting anachronistic references, including a rap.

In the company of fellow trainee soldiers, Ginger Mick learns about the spirit of mateship and sacrifice that informs the anzac legend. Soon he finds himself being hunted with a moving treatment of death in action, from the flailing bodies on the fighting field and the crosses discreetly and sporadically placed against a window pane at the back of the room, to the widows and sweethearts left behind, represented by Ginger’s grieving Rose.

Using minimum props—including broomsticks for guns—the boys joked, drilled, sang, fought and re-created a life that is a heart beat away from bloodshed… and their performances were captivating.