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Wed 23 Sep 2015, 8:00pm–9:00pm
Thu 24 Sep 2015, 8:00pm–9:00pm
Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:00pm–9:00pm
Sat 26 Sep 2015, 8:00pm–9:00pm

Where: Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full: $25.00
  • Concession: $20.00
  • Additional fees may apply

‘Would you fight for your country?’ This is one of the questions Jan Bolwell puts to the audience in her 60 minute solo play Bill Massey’s Tourists.

In the past year she has been presenting her acclaimed play to audiences in Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin and her home village Paekakariki, as well as a very successful shortened version for schools.

When she gave a special presentation to members of the Auckland Regiment last year, the Regiment’s Patron Dame Cath Tizard introduced the work. Bolwell states: “It was great to talk afterwards to the Vietnam War veterans who said they identified closely with these World War One stories. ‘Nothing has changed’ they said. ‘War is war’.” Theatre director Raymond Hawthorne also attended the performance and was blown away.

“Bill Massey’s Tourists is a great piece of theatre! Based on her grandfather’s reflections of World War One, Jan Bolwell reveals both as a writer and performer the horrors, humour and pathos of those hellish times at the front. A moving experience.”

Bolwell is coming north again in September, presenting Bill Massey’s Tourists on Waiheke Island and at Auckland’s Garnet Station Café’s Tiny Theatre.

The play is titled Bill Massey’s Tourists because this is what the Kiwi soldiers called themselves, referring to their Prime Minister Bill Massey. The ironic title sets the tone of the play that is peppered with jokes, dances, songs and soldiers ditties about the war.

But the serious side of war is also present as Arthur gradually tells Jan about the brutal treatment in the training camps at Sling and Étaples and the horrors of Passchendaele, New Zealand’s greatest military tragedy. As Arthur tells his story the teenage Jan begins to understand why her grandfather has ended up a grumpy, unwell and uncommunicative old man.

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