'Borderless' is dedicated to the men and women who served in the Afghan/Iraq conflict. We hope this show will bring about action and increase public awareness of the mental health crisis facing our veterans.
If you are or know of any veterans who are currently facing a crisis there are people and professional organisations who are willingly to listen and help!
Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
Soldier On - 1300 620 380
Young Veterans - 0401 793 560
Mates For Mates - 1300 4 MATES (62 837)
Show run time: 85 minutes.
One veteran on average dies by suicide every two weeks. This personal story is based on a culmination of true and very raw stories from returned servicemen, throwing an unapologetic lens on what it was like for many Australian troops in Afghanistan and upon their return. We all know that there are many sides to a war, especially one as complex as that which has unfolded over years in Afghanistan. This production does not attempt a balanced nor journalistic commentary, this is raw and candid storytelling.
After previously directing Peter-William Jamieson through a tale about a grief-stricken family, I was honoured to have him contact me in full trust to shepherd this insightful piece. During lockdown last year, Peter came to me with his one-man play. I was able to listen to recorded recounts of returned servicemen and research the tours, triumphs and atrocities that crossed their paths.
This is an intimate play and feels as though we are reading the diary of our protagonist, Blake. Creatively with the team, we have made the stage represents his mind. As he recounts his story, some poignant and pivotal moments are emphasised and play clearly in his mind, while others are seen as more of a blur, or one image that has stuck with him that represents this time. There is no doubt that war changed this man. Death by suicide of our veterans is more than tenfold of those whom we lost physically in battle.
Psychological damage upon returning to Australia is a real and far too underrated occurrence. Veterans should be given ongoing support, counselling and provided services upon returning, having witnessed and experienced horrors. It is up to us to support servicemen and women upon their return in a far better and holistic way. Blake’s story is more than a statistic. War changes lives, how we view it and how we deal with it. The ramifications have no borders.
Special thanks to
Veronica and the Sydney Actor Collective team.
Johnny Ryan & Tim Weir for their time, service and stories.
Barkat Hussainizada and his father Syed from the Afghan Royal restaurant for their delicious Afghani food and for helping me learn Dari.
To the most beautiful woman in the world Lily Jamieson for all the technical and marketing support.
Mark Mathews at the Chippen Street theatre space for being so accommodating and for answering all of my questions.