What happens when our games are about war, and war is like a game?
Fifteen year old Arki sees the dead bodies of the players he kills in his games. His mother takes him to a psychiatrist, who thinks he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So she seeks advice from Nelson, a major in the army. She also meets Aaron, Arki’s older doppelganger, a bonafide case of PTSD, just returned from Afghanistan to his young wife Lily. Lily takes Aaron to an Afghani restaurant run by Saif and Nadia. Both are recovering from living through the endless wars their country has been subject to. At the restaurant, Aaron gets drunk and angry, and steals an antique sword hanging on the wall. As each new character is introduced, the poisonous ripple effect of war is further revealed, and all of the characters struggle with the effects of war with varying degrees of success. Surprising alliances are built across racial and generational lines, and the lessons learnt by people whose lives have been touched by war are given the credence they deserve.
Hi, I’m Melissa Reeves, and I am raising funds for the premiere production of my new work – ARCHIMEDES WAR. This play won the Griffin Award in 2016, and was presented at the CYBEC readings at the MTC, and at the Playwrights Festival, and now, at last, we are putting it on! We have secured over sixty percent of the funding we need to mount our show, through direct and in-kind support from the Darebin Speakeasy, and the Australia Council. We are looking to raise funds for the full sum of wages and creative fees, and for production expenses for the show.
ARCHIMEDES WAR was inspired by reading about the devastating effects of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on combatants and civilians, but it also addresses what happens to us back home. There is a cultural centrality to stories, games and films about war that sits oddly with the fact that even as we were deeply involved in waging war overseas in Afghanistan, back here in Australia, we were curiously unaware, even uninterested in what was going on. Australia has many inhabitants who are struggling with the after effects of being involved in a War. Scores of people have fled here from the most horrendous wars, many of which Australia was instrumental in pursuing.
ARCHIMEDES WAR explores these ideas with an accessible, funny, style that enables it to touch on complex, and tragic aspects of our society with a lightness of touch that will appeal to a broad audience. The staging will be simple. A constant animation/video thread will act like subliminal wallpaper, but also take the main narrative thread at key points. We see online games, hallucinations, drone warfare footage, toy drone footage, and digital reconstructions of violent incidents in combat. The audience has privileged access into fifteen yeal old Arki’s unconscious through screens, dream-scapes and visions.
World premiere April 16th – 26th at Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Northcote Town Hall.
Written by Melissa Reeves
Directed by Susie Dee
Cast – Sahil Saluja, Harry Musgrove, Daniela Farinacci, Jim Russell, Eva Seymour, Jordan Fraser-Trumble
Set/Costume design – Romanie Harper
Animation/Video – Alexandra Nel
Lighting design – Lisa Mibus
Sound design – Ian Moorhead
Producer – Renee Dudfield
If you are able to donate any amount, however small, it would be a massive help to us, and to our production.