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Exploring war’s effects on veterans

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April 12, 2018

Wendy Platt, Wendy Russell and Jo Burgess in character at Dookie.

Shepparton Theatre Arts Group’s Dookie The Musical will fittingly open this Anzac Day, April 25.

The musical, which features Broadford locals Rob Kemp and Kathy Daly, has been adapted from the 2016 play Dookie, written by John Head, and STAG cast has been busy rehearsing since mid-January.

Director Casey Fogarty said the musical centred around the character of Dean who was returning home to Dookie from serving in Afghanistan. He brought his war-mate Steve along with him and the musical explored the struggles faced by returned soldiers in the small town.

Shepparton’s Connor McDonald, who plays Steve, said it had been challenging reaching the depths of emotion experienced by the character who had lost two mates while serving.

‘‘Steve is very much a character that ... is an example of those who return from war.’’

Ms Fogarty said they had been working alongside the Goulburn Valley Concert Orchestra which had added another complexity to staging the show.

‘‘It has been great to work in partnership with the GV Concert Orchestra,’’ she said.

‘‘Any time you bring an entire orchestra on stage there are challenges but I think we’ve overcome them well.’’

Ms Fogarty said there would be a mixture of familiar STAG faces as well as new actors.

‘‘We’ve got some STAG icons in Matt Dowling, who plays Bill, and Nicky Pummeroy, who plays Sally, the co-owner of The Emporium.’’

● Dookie The Musical runs from Wednesday, April 25, to Saturday, April 28, at Riverlinks Westside, Echuca Rd, Mooroopna. For more information, visit http:/ /riverlinksvenues.com.au

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