Our collective memory of WWI is usually bits and pieces of newsreel film played in a fabricated fashion on TV. With the exception of a few documentaries, the distant from the actual events seems archaic. Little do many know that that war changed the very fabric of history that is still reverberating today.
However, we are fortunate to have some voices such as Mary Anneeta Mann with the vision and tenacity to bring alive the feelings and memories that occurred a hundred years ago. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. An army of dedicated patriots who sign up for action in what they believe is the noble and right thing to do. Unfortunately, their bravery was wasted in the slaughterhouse that was Gallipoli, and later, the inhuman quagmire of the Somme.
The production is comprised of scene readings which tell a lyrical tale of the collective memories of all involved, from the soldier on the front, to his loving family tilling the land. The characters are based on real people. Their hopes and fears, from the deadly routine of staying free from a sniper’s bullet, to preparing supper for a long day of labor.
What’s striking is that Ms. Mann’s most dynamic scenes were of the front. She captures the dread and fear the soldiers felt. And she weaves mystical elements of the Aborigine that gives it a unique Australian perspective.
The actors were accurate with their voices and tonality, bringing the script to life. Directors Mary Mann and Justine Visone used a steady hand to ensure the production sparkled.
This was the second in a series of five readings. The writing is engaging, almost poetic, and to hear it projected in dramatic form is most entertaining. Let us remember those who gave their lives for what they believed was just and true. Australia and New Zealand earned their national identity through and through. Their valor did not go unnoticed. Recommended.
Scenes from ANZAC runs at T.U. Studios located at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. For tickets call (818) 769-1145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.