Showing the innocence before war

Daisy Cole, Campbell Greenock and Claire Thomas in The Dreaming Hill, opening April 14 in Perth. Picture: Renato Fabretti
Daisy Cole, Campbell Greenock and Claire Thomas in The Dreaming Hill, opening April 14 in Perth. Picture: Renato Fabretti

WA Youth Theatre Company (WAYTCO) and Albany�s Southern Edge Arts turned to award-winning writer Hellie Turner to bring the Anzac spirit to life in a live theatrical production.

Their wish was granted with The Dreaming Hill, which pushes through the often stale touch of textbooks and sees the youth of today shake hands with the youth of 100 years ago.

WAYTCO artistic director Renato Fabretti, of Mt Lawley, said the 16-strong cast of 15 to 20-year-old actors was – shockingly – the same age as those young soldiers and nurses sent to war, grappling with the concept of �service�.

�It is not a bludgeon of false fact called history,� Fabretti said

�It is an invitation to consider the fact alongside the myths that swaddle those facts and where it leaves us between the two � part dream, part truth, part nightmare.�

The Dreaming Hill is set on the Greek island Lemnos during the last days of innocence before the battlefield of Gallipoli.

Fabretti said the cast had responded to the work with bravery, intelligence and had found a great empathy for the Australia striving to define its nationhood at any cost.

�They have dearly considered this great cost and why, were they alive 100 years ago, they too might board a ship bound for those blood soaked shores,� he said.

�As artists they are questioning and resilient and I can�t ask more than that.

�As a team, I�d take them into �battle� and in a way will do when we hit the stage as I trust them with this story.

�Their care for it has proven that trust is deserving � they have been very generous to each other, supporting each other and the process and the new script.�

Fabretti added he hoped audiences found a new perspective on an old tale.

�One they connect to in a way their studies did not allow for,� he said.

�And a refreshed love of our humanity, despite our failures.�

The Perth season will be followed by performances at WA Museum Albany from April 23 to 26.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Dreaming Hill

Where: WA Museum Perth, outdoor venue

When: April 14 to 18

Tickets: www.waytco.com