What happens when our games are about war, and war is played like a game? Playwright Melissa Reeves has teamed up with director Susie Dee for a dark comedy exploring the frightening depersonalisation of modern warfare at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre from 10 – 20 August.
Fifteen-year-old Arki can’t shake the dead bodies of the players he’s killed in his online combat games on his PS4. His mother takes him to a psychiatrist who thinks he has PTSD. In her quest to help her son, she turns to those involved in real world war afflictions including a Major from the Australian Army and refugees from Afghanistan.
“Archimedes War was inspired by reading about the devastating effects of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on combatants and civilians. It explores the terrible mental cost of fighting or living with a war from the perspective of what happens back here at home. There is a cultural centrality to films and games about war that sits oddly with the fact that even as we were deeply involved, fighting a war in Afghanistan, back here in Australia, we were curiously unaware, even uninterested in what was going on,” said writer Melissa Reeves.
Melissa Reeves is a Melbourne playwright whose career extends over three decades. Her plays include Anthem and Who’s Afraid of the Working Class (with Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas), Happy Ending, Furious Mattress, The Spook (awarded the 2005 Louis Esson Prize for Drama in the Victorian Premiers Awards and two AWGIES for best new play) and Sweetown (awarded the Jill Blewitt Memorial Playwrights Award in 1993).
Director Susie Dee has worked extensively in the theatre as a performer, devisor and director in Australia and overseas for the past thirty years. She has been the Artistic Director of three theatre companies: Melbourne Workers Theatre (MWT), Union House Theatre (UHT) and Institute of Complex Entertainment (ICE).
Winner of the Griffin Award in 2016, Archimedes War is set in 2013 during the war in Afghanistan and features a stellar cast including Daniela Farinacci (Lantana, Lion, MTC’s A View From The Bridge), Jim Russell, (Back to Back Theatre’s Small Metal Objects, Nowhere Boys, Passenger), Sahil Saluja (Anthem, Bighouse Dreaming, Elbow Room Theatre’s Prehistoric) Jordan Fraser-Trumble (MTC’s Gloria, HIR Red Stitch, and Eva Seymour (Ch 10’s How to Stay Married, Anthem, Puffs.) The performance was originally to premiere in 2020 but was delayed due to COVID-19.
August 10 – 20