Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

The Home Front - Three Women, One Month, The Great War

Improvised theatre about real life for women during the Great War

(Image: The Home Front Facebook page)

While the men and boys of Australia went away to fight for King and Country, hundreds of thousands of Australian women were left to literally keep the home fires burning. In the cities they became the labourforce for factories, and in the country they kept their farms their local communities going.

Canberra’s Chrysalis Theatre Company production of The Home Front, to be performed at the Yass CWA Hall this Friday, 20 November is an original, 70 minute theatre production using improvisation. Set in an Australian country homestead. The Home Front was developed through the Street Theatre’s Made in Canberra and First Seen Initiatives and was first presented at The Street in Canberra in 2014.

The Home Front was performed in Gundaroo last week and a further performance will be held in Yass at the  Yass CWA Branch, 7.30pm, Friday, 20 November. Light refreshments will be sold by the CWA to raise funds for its various charities.

The two performances have been made possible through a grant to Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) from Yass Valley Council to tour the production.

STARTS Executive Officer, Susan Conroy, said she was thrilled the production was able to come to the towns of Yass and Gundaroo.

‘When I saw the production in Canberra it was astonishing how the actors embodied each character to present a deeply moving story,’she said.

The Home Front gives audiences the opportunity to experience the story anew each time it is presented as director, Heidi Silberman, invites recommendations from the audience as to aspects of character and story and then guides the actors through the performance, introducing unexpected props, emotional shifts and plot twists throughout the performance.

Heidi Silberman and Catherine Crowley wrote and produced the play, but wanted it to reflect the experience of the towns and cities where it has been performed whether that be Canberra, Gundaroo, Adelaide or Yass. They ask the questions of the women in the play: What were the issues they had to face?  What of their communities?  What of their loved ones away at war? Was there a difference between city and rural experiences?

Whatever the experiences, 100 years on it may be that little has changed.

Hear Heidi and Catherine talk about the production on 101.5fm Radio Adelaide.  The show received rave reviews when it was performed as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Bookings for Friday night’s performance in Yass through Try Booking