Four women. Many stories. A century of service. Set against the vast landscape of world conflict from World War One to contemporary times, four women unite across a century to share their personal stories of active service in the military in Hallowed Ground – Women Doctors in War at La Mama Courthouse for a limited season from 8 August 2018.
Lilian, a surgeon in her fifties, denied military service in World War One, travels abroad to join The Scottish Women’s Hospital, serving in the remote Balkan snowfields. In World War Two, Mary, a specialist radiologist, she too denied service with the Australian Army, finds herself the only woman among 3000 British troops bound for the Middle East.
As a peacekeeper on active service in Iraq, young doctor Tam, plagued by dreams of fleeing war-torn Saigon, reconciles her own refugee experience while rehabilitating the displaced Kurdish people. Catherine, a surgeon in Afghanistan, reflects on the journeys of the remarkable women who paved the way for her own experience as a modern military doctor.
In these and myriad stories of revelation, loss, struggle and kinship; moments of hope and humor punctuate the otherwise harrowing task of conflict medicine.
Written and researched over two years by Carolyn Bock and Helen Hopkins, The Shift Theatre brings together, under the direction of Catherine Hill, a fine ensemble cast including Carolyn Bock, Jean Goodwin, Helen Hopkins and Chi Nguyen.
Hallowed Ground is Bock and Hopkins’ second collaboration as writers and was initially supported during research and development by the ANZAC Centenary Arts and Culture Fund and presented as a work in progress at La Mama Explorations in 2016. Their first work, The Girls in Grey, enjoyed a three-year touring life.
Last month, Hallowed Ground enjoyed a special presentation at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra with Director Brendan Nelson commenting: “Hallowed Ground is a stunning piece of theatre. Four actresses with minimalist props bring to life the stories of women doctors who faced not only the bloody horror and adversities of war, but hurtful discrimination.”
“Moving, inspiring and educational, this is a true must-see for everyone but especially young women who need to believe they can achieve anything in life and overcome any obstacle.”
Director: Catherine Hill Featuring: Carolyn Bock, Jean Goodwin, Helen Hopkins, Chi Nguyen Set Design: Meg White Lighting Design: Richard Vabre Sound Design: Abe Pogos Stage Manager: Steph Young
Hallowed Ground – Women Doctors in War
La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Season: 8 – 19 August 2018
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Jean Goodwin, Chi Nguyen, Carolyn Bock and Helen Hopkins feature in Hallowed Ground – Women Doctors in War – photo by Nancy Flammea (Captured Image Photography)