Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

Borderless

Audrey review: Written and performed by Peter-William Jamieson, Borderless tells a fictional story to hoist a largely hidden tragedy into the light.

Text size
Text size
Show: Borderless
Add to favourites

Borderless

Date: 5 Jun 2021

It’s a statistic repeated in this play and one worth repeating here: 41 Australian military personnel died on active service in Afghanistan. As of this year, there have been more than 700 suicides among veterans of that conflict.

Borderless, a solo piece written and performed by Peter-William Jamieson, tells a fictional story to hoist that largely hidden tragedy into the light.

Jamieson narrates as Blake. We meet him as a kid at the moment he encounters another boy, Hassan, an Afghani refugee who will eventually become his stepbrother.

The boys form tight bond that lasts through their knockabout teenage years in Newcastle and later into the ADF. Both serve in the same regiment, which is later dispatched to the Australian base at Tarinkot in southern Afghanistan.

They are part of a goodwill and policing mission, mostly, devoted to the rebuilding of a school and the training of local recruits. But the surrounding areas are under the control of Taliban forces and mortal danger – from sniper fire, from roadside bombs – is never far away.

Tragically, for Hussan, who is in a relationship with the daughter of a local teacher, that danger arrives from unexpectedly close range.

Blake is left shattered and unable to settle back into his pre-service life. He blows his savings on drugs and booze. He experiences wild mood swings, violent episodes. Then, on a visit to a shop specialising in Afghani sweetmeats and treats, something triggers him into a murderous rage.

Affable at first, Blake stands before the audience as a very real-seeming guy, convincingly voiced, neither patronised nor idealised. The script, which takes us from suburban Newcastle to Afghanistan and back, is a wordy one and the staging (directed by Christie Koppe) physically demanding. But Jamieson is very much in control – even when Blake is not – and 85 minutes in the company of this likeable, troubled and haunted young man fly by, leaving in no doubt as to the work that must to be done to help veterans deal with the inevitable trauma of war.

If you are a veteran or know of any currently facing a crisis there are people and organisations available to listen and help 24/7:

Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

Soldier On – 1300 620 380

Young Veterans – 0401 793 560

Mates For Mates – 1300 4 MATES (62 837)

Content
Prima Facie
Add to favourites
TheatreSeymour Centre, Chippendale, Sydney 23 Jun - 10 Jul 2021

Prima Facie

Audrey review: Suzie Miller's Prima Facie shows us all the ways in which the legal system is unfairly made and inherently broken.

The Cherry Orchard
Add to favourites
TheatreBelvoir, Surry Hills, Sydney 29 May - 27 Jun 2021

The Cherry Orchard

Audrey review: Eamon Flack’s production of Anton Chekhov’s final play takes the author at his word. The Cherry Orchard is a comedy above all else.

The 7 Stages of Grieving
Add to favourites
ArchivedWharf 1 Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney 21 May - 19 Jun 2021

The 7 Stages of Grieving

Audrey review: A quarter century after its premiere, The 7 Stages of Grieving speaks to the reprehensible stasis of history when it comes to change.

See More

More to see

View All
Cool Pool Party 2: Graduation
Add to favourites
Bondi Festival 2021Wayside Chapel, Bondi Beach, Sydney 29 - 30 Jun 2021

Cool Pool Party 2: Graduation

When the Puberty Realm opens up on the night of the Year 12 Formal, humanity is set for ruin.

Happy Days
Add to favourites
TheatreOld Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo, Sydney 10 Jun - 3 Jul 2021

Happy Days

Belinda Giblin is Winnie, the iconic half-buried heroine of Samuel Beckett’s 1961 play.

Silly to Think
Add to favourites
ArchivedFringe HQ, Newtown, Sydney 9 - 12 Jun 2021

Silly to Think

In a pandemic world under the Morrison government, Silly to Think exposes female oppression in the Absurdist form.

Three Winters Green
Add to favourites
Sydney Fringe FestivalFringe HQ, Newtown, Sydney 6 - 17 Jul 2021

Three Winters Green

Campion Decent's Three Winters Green follows eight people through three years of their lives.

Top