Archimedes War ★ ★ ★
Northcote City Center Arts Centre, till December 2
Dreams of war penetrate our cultural creativity, even as our social grasp of the truth of war escapes. Playwright Melissa Reeves composed Archimedes War to resolve and check out the disjunction, signing up with a custom of drama that draws its force from a surreal crash of civilian and military life. Reeves ‘conceit takes teen player Archimedes( Harry Musgrove), a passionate gamer of reasonable first-person shooters, and provides him the signs of PTSD some soldiers establish on returning from battle. His worried mom(Daniela Farinacci)initially takes him to the
school counsellor (Richie Hallal), prior to coming across a significant in charge of media for the Australian Army(Jim Russell), and lastly a young couple( Jordan Fraser-Trumble and Eva Seymour)having a hard time to deal with the distressing tradition of service in Afghanistan. Despite the possible bleakness of its topic, Reeves leavens her issue play with darkly amusing set-pieces.
War emerges from the normal in ridiculous and ominous methods– Archimedes is activated by needing to recite from Banquo’s murder scene in class, for example, and as part of his’treatment ‘satisfies a lady who keeps an eye on and directs live drone strikes. X’s video forecasts flicker disconcertingly in between genuine video footage and dry run and simulations, and if the play does not decisively attack the bourgeois phase with the
theatre of war– a la Bunuel’s surrealist satire The Discreet Appeal of the Bourgeoisie, or at the more dreadful end of the spectrum, Sarah Kane’s ultraviolent play Blasted, composed in the wake of the Bosnian genocide– it does establish a quantum entanglement in between dream and truth, superimposing them to troubling effect. The parallel stories of genuine and envisioned PTSD create a tentative, poignant sort of bond in between kid and returned soldier. And the piece relies greatly on the strategies of deflationary funny– particularly in scenes with Russell’s hawkish
significant– to launch sufficient scathing satire to keep mawkishness at bay. (Perhaps, the technique is excessive used: a lot of scenes end with throwaway lines. )Director Susie Dee extracts skilled efficiencies from the cast, and for all its upsetting humour, Reeves ‘game-like script lays siege to a pedagogic function. It’s a lucid, disturbing expedition of modern war through a likeable teenager lead character, and you can picture
school trainees being particularly promoted by it.