100 Reasons for War

‘100 Reasons for War’ is an unusual style of play, written in 2015 by Hobart-born Tom Holloway. Although still only in his early forties, Holloway has written around 3-dozen plays, a massive output, mainly informative or ‘intelligent’ in their delivery.

This play is the first directed by Cassidy Bodenham. Cassidy read the script and could see the immense potential. The author had not given any of the characters names, no directions, nor even mentioned where they met or lived. These points were left entirely to the director to create.

This fascinating production can be seen at the Roxy Lane Theatre, 55 Ninth Avenue in Maylands. There are plenty of free parking spaces. This drama is being presented on Friday and Saturday nights at 7.30 pm until 6th November. There are Sunday matinées at 2.00 pm until the 7th.

The Scene:           Various houses and businesses in any Australian town.

The set:                Designed by Cassidy Bodenham. A café table and chairs: the revolving wall flat showed the café’s menu. On the other side of the stage was a small corner of a student’s flat. At the rear of the stage is a set of platforms, on which is a comfortable settee belonging to a young couple. Next to it is the bedroom of a newly married couple. The scenery and props are intentionally minimal, the playwright and director want you concentrate upon the dialogue and the topics contained therein.

Stage manager:                Matthew Pascoe

The lighting and sound:                 Operated by on different evenings by Fleur Periera, Simon McKenzie and Cassidy Bodenham. The complex lighting plan helped pick out the various areas of the stage and the points of action.

Front of house:                  The ever-reliable team of Kristen Halford-Bailey, Don Weaver, Chris Harris, and Sabrina Weaver.

The stage curtains are open, and a young girl (Madi Kate – sadly Amalea Lawrence took ill – so stepped in with only a couple of hours a notice but was still outstanding) is seated reading a book. The audience drift in. Then one shy, lost looking man (Lynden Hughes) wanders in and sits at the end of the front row. The girl gets up and drags him reluctantly onto the stage. He symbolises the link between the episodes that are to follow and us, the general public – of the world.

Dressed in their pyjamas, a couple (Hassan Almagutar, Sueanne McCumstie) are watching TV. The man has full control of the TV remote.

In the local café, the two baristas (Jahdal Baker, Matthew Pascoe), obviously a couple of science student nerds, are discussing the finer points of physics.

In the flat live a gay couple (Michael Hart, Tristan Peers). One man is interested in nature and history books whilst his friend is desperate to discuss their relationship. The young couple (Ashvath Singh Kunadi, Kerri-Anne Mulley) have just arrived home and their passions are building.

A psychologist and mentor (Clare Alason) who helps the various groups.

I really enjoyed this style of play, it was snappy, punchy, and made one think about the world around us. If you think that after two world wars that we are lucky to be living in such peaceful times, then think again. You will love or hate this play, but it is definitely worth seeing. It demands concentration and reading between the lines, but there were many points, such as the huge number of international conflicts that are taking place constantly around the world. At a time when most people are worried about global warming, few seem to worry about armed conflict and internal coups.

The relatively inexperienced cast moved well and managed to build up the domestic conflict, handling the tense situations most capably. The actors knew the script’s messages and tackled them with enthusiasm. I really enjoyed this play, with most admirable directing. Listen to the radio announcer’s voice in the background, a real eye opener.