Curtain comes down on The Long Way Home
12 April 2014
The final curtain will fall on the highly successful production The Long Way Home when the cast takes to the stage at His Majesty's Theatre in Perth on Saturday 12 April.
In a unique collaboration the Australian Defence Force (ADF) partnered with the Sydney Theatre Company, writer Daniel Keene and director Stephen Rayne to bring the soldiers' real life accounts and experiences together in a stage production. The result is a powerful play which portrays the reality of conflict and confronts the fear and disillusionment many Defence Force members face on their return home.
In an Australian first, 13 ADF members teamed up with four professional actors to share a roller-coaster ride of emotions that resonated with audiences in sell out performances across the nation.
Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley said he was very proud of the soldiers' courage and commitment throughout the production.
“I have seen a marked change in many of the performers since this project began. Their confidence has grown and they are in a much stronger position to deal with their own transition. I know sharing their personal stories has also benefitted many of those who have seen the show,” General Hurley said.
After a decade of high operational tempo the ADF's focus is being clearly drawn towards physical and mental wellbeing of personnel who have returned from operations - including the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“We are not shying away from our veterans' mental heath,” General Hurley said.
“The Long Way Home is just one of the many ways we are addressing the issue. The production has helped further the important conversation on military mental health. It is a good start point, but we must continue to talk about the issue and reduce the stigma around mental health that still exists in Australia.”
The Long Way Home is part of the official Centenary of Anzac program and provides an opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of all Australian military personnel.
Imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140911
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