Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The One Day of the Year by Alan Seymour to be revived at the Finborough Theatre

It has been announced that The One Day of the Year by Alan Seymour will be staged at the Finborough Theatre later this year as part of its GreatWar100 series to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.

It will be the first UK production in over fifty years of Seymour’s iconic play. The show opens on 21st May (previews from 19th May) and runs until 13th June 2015. Wayne Harrison directs.

One of Australia's most popular plays, The One Day of the Year explores the universal theme of father-son conflict against the background of the beery haze and the heady, nostalgic sentimentality of ANZAC Day – Australia's equivalent of Remembrance Sunday – and a sacred cow among Australian annual celebrations.

For war veterans like Alf and his friend Wacka, ANZAC Day is an opportunity to commemorate history and the forging of Australia's national identity. 

For Alf’s son Hughie, reacting against everything his father stands for, ANZAC Day is a just an out-of-date nationalist nostalgia fest, so he decides to do a photo-essay for a magazine portraying the "real" celebration of the day: ex-servicemen passed out in the gutter in an alcoholic stupor...

The One Day of the Year generated huge controversy in Australia following its opening in 1960 with a policeman stationed at the stage door to ward off the angry public, while death threats were sent to the author. Last seen in the UK at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1961, this production rediscovers an Australian theatre classic.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign and taking place during a year of world-wide ceremonies commemorating the battle, the production is presented as part of the annual Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts.

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