Grand­dad’s war story told in play

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

A new solo play by play­wright, ac­tor, dancer and chore­og­ra­pher Jan Bol­well tells the story of her grand­fa­ther’s war on the Western Front.

Bill Massey’s Tourists is the third in a tril­ogy of solo plays Bol­well has writ­ten about her fam­ily.

It is based on her grand­fa­ther, Wil­liam Arthur Gar­diner, who served in the Otago Mounted Ri­fles 18th Re­in­force­ments.

Bol­well plays her­self as ado­les­cent and adult, her grand­fa­ther both young and old, his best mate Cyril, and a woman from the New Zealand Pa­tri­otic So­ci­ety.

Though her grand­fa­ther is re­luc­tant to talk about the war, Bol­well coaxes him to re­veal what hap­pened to him and his mates in the trenches of France and Flan­ders. Pass­chen­daele is a fo­cus of his war ex­pe­ri­ences on the Western front.

The play is di­rected by Ker­ryn Palmer and de­signed by Ni­cole Cos­grove.

Bol­well also wrote Stand­ing on my Hands about her fa­ther’s WWII ex­pe­ri­ences in Egypt and Italy while Here’s Hilda! was about her grand­mother.

Bill Massey’s Tourists is at the Auck­land Army Cen­tre, 204 Great North Road, Grey Lynn on July 12. Doors open at 6.45pm and the play starts at 7.30 pm.

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