[Theatre and Physical Theatre/Verbatim ~ SA PREMIERE ~ NSW]
Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre, Thu 10 Mar.
The Vietnam War, or the American War as the Vietnamese call it, was a long time ago but the scars run long and deep. In Their Footsteps puts the spotlight on stories that have long been ignored – the stories of women who served in Vietnam; we hear the stories of five American women that have been adapted for the stage in this engaging, fast moving documentary drama.
Each cast member takes turns to tell their own story and contribute to a series of vignettes that highlight their significant moments in Vietnam between 1967 and 1969. A couple were nurses, one was a librarian, and two were ‘donut dollies’ sent by the Red Cross as part of their Supplemental Recreation Overseas Program. Donut Dollies were there to raise the spirits of those on the front line and comfort the wounded.
As is so often the case with women’s involvement in history, their contributions went unremarked and unrecognised. Particularly frustrating for the women concerned if their perspectives on the war as it happened were ignored and resulted in multiple casualties!
But what they had in common with the male GIs they served alongside is that after a time they came to realise they should not be there, that it was not their war to fight, and they had been duped by their own government. They never felt the same about America again, especially when they got home to discover they weren’t eligible for any assistance because they weren’t serving members of the military. Or perhaps maybe just because they were women.
In Their Footsteps is important. There’s much to learn from these untold stories and a strong even performance from the whole cast guarantees an absorbing spectacle that presents a great balance of facts and feelings. It’s not a sob story. Nor it is preachy, but it leaves a strong emotional footprint.
In Their Footsteps continues at Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre from 6pm until Sat 12 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.