An­other side of An­zac

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

AC­TOR Dan Spielman (pic­tured) was drawn to the frail hu­man el­e­ment in An Ac­ci­den­tal Sol­dier which he says is far re­moved from the heroic An­zac le­gend. The ABC tele­movie is based on John Char­alam­bous’s novel Silent Parts, about a baker who re­luc­tantly joins the army in World War I and deserts dur­ing the fight­ing in France. Spielman said the tele­movie looks at an as­pect of Aus­tralians at war which is rarely ac­knowl­edged. ‘‘It’s not of­ten told in our mythol­ogy of war, but none­the­less this is very real,’’ Spielman says. ‘‘Our national mythol­ogy re­mains largely un­ex­am­ined and I have al­ways been con­cerned about that. This ques­tions the myth that ev­ery­one who goes to war must be brave.’’ Pro­duc­tion notes for An Ac­ci­den­tal Sol­dier re­veal; more than 3300 Aus­tralian soldiers were court­mar­tialled for de­ser­tion in World War I. Spielman plays baker Harry Lam­bert who, af­ter de­sert­ing, takes refuge at the farm of Colombe Ja­co­tot (played by French ac­tress Marie Bunel). Vet­eran ac­tor Bryan Brown plays Cap­tain Ter­rence Foster, who de­fends Brown on charges of trea­son. Ju­lia Zemiro, best known as a comic and pre­sen­ter, branches out to play Is­abelle Bravy, Bunel’s co-worker. Spielman, who has been heav­ily in­volved with theatre pro­duc­tions in re­cent years, says this was one TV pro­duc­tion he re­ally wanted to be in­volved in. ‘‘The script was just re­ally un­usual and the idea it would be a bilin­gual pro­duc­tion – some­thing that is rare on ABC – was very in­ter­est­ing to me,’’ he says. ‘‘Thank­fully the script was writ­ten in English with French sub­ti­tles.’’ An Ac­ci­den­tal Sol­dier, which was di­rected by Rachel Ward, is the first of two ABC pro­duc­tions in which Spielman will star. He has also been cast in a lead roles in the six-hour po­lit­i­cal thriller Code, which is film­ing in Syd­ney, Can­berra and Bro­ken Hill. Code’s en­sem­ble cast in­cludes Adam Gar­cia, David Wen­ham, Lucy Law­less, Aden Young and Aaron Ped­er­sen. ‘‘There’s gen­eral ex­cite­ment about work­ing in TV at the mo­ment,’’ Spielman says. ‘‘There’s a lot of qual­ity pro­duc­tions com­ing out the states and it’s spilled over into Aus­tralia.’’

– DAR­REN CARTWRIGHT An Ac­ci­den­tal Sol­dier: Sun­day, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.