The Unknown Soldier
Image Heidrun Lohr
Dates: Australian Tour 2015, USA Tour 2016
Company: Monkey Baa Theatre
Winner of 2015 Glug Award, Most Outstanding Production for Children
Script by Sandra Eldridge published by Playlab, with introduction by Matt Edgerton, available here
Charlie’s dad has returned from Afghanistan scarred by his experience of war. To give his parents ‘a break’, Charlie is sent to stay with his Aunt Angela. Aunt and nephew clash: he thinks she’s a hoarder and a hippie, she thinks her nephew plays too many video games. But a hidden treasure amidst Angela’s junk takes these two unlikely allies on a life-changing journey.
This is a very special Australian story: uplifting, full of hope, and deeply relevant to contemporary Australian audiences, The Unknown Soldier explores how we carry our family’s stories from our past into our present. Moving seamlessly between Australia in 2014 and Fromelles on The Western Front in 1916, this is a beautiful new play from Sandra Eldridge – Monkey Creative Director, and master storyteller for young people.
The Unknown Soldier is a beautifully executed sharing of war and family experiences both past and present. It is a worthwhile anniversary addition to the theatrical canon in this topic area.
Sydney Arts Guide
It’s a moving two-hander, examining dark themes including the horror of war and the devastating impact of PTSD without shying away from their seriousness but handling them with a light touch.
This gentle play, respectful of the past, gently brings our consciousness to the present. Monkey Baa, with The Unknown Soldier, fulfils its brief magnificently for their young audience, the adults of the future.
Kevin Jackson, Theatre Reviewer