Bribie Island’s Voices Choral group commemorates ANZAC centenary with original musical tale of local Australians in WWI.
The Toast Is ANZAC, Gentlemen tells the story of the Hawkins family, both at home in Kilcoy, and at Gallipoli.
Writer and director Jenda Jacobs spent over a year researching The Toast Is ANZAC, Gentlemen, and focused on local diggers and their families.
Ms. Jacobs said “my inspiration was to create a work that was historically driven and real, not fabricated.”
The group had experienced difficulties in finding cast members to play the young soldiers needed in the play until Ms. Jacobs approached the Maritime Safety Military Cadets (MSMC).
Ms. Jacobs said “the Vietnam Veterans and the cadet groups have offered so much assistance and military advisement.
“They’ve taking it upon themselves to teach the young actors that aren’t in the military cadets, about marching and military life and what it would have been like in the trenches in Gallipoli.”
Jarrod Gough, a MSMC cadet who plays a young soldier, said that when he first heard of the play thought it would be “really fun to do. I think it will be very enjoyable and I think it will come up really well”.
The cast and crew are “very excited to do something we’ve never done before,” says Ms. Jacobs.
Elva Dawson, who plays the Hawkins matriarch Mary, said “it is a very emotional play, and I find that I get carried away sometimes.”
“I feel privileged to be part of a show that is so well written by a local woman,” said Herb Harrold, who plays Old Jack Hawkins.
The title of the play comes from the song sung at meetings of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, the predecessor to what is now the RSL.
The Toast Is ANZAC, Gentlemen opens on May 29 until June 6th for five performances.
Tickets are available online via www.voicesbribie.com.au or can be purchased from The Ink Shop, Elkhorn Ave Bellara, or at the Golden Age Hall, Arcadia Street Woorim.