Bill Massey’s Tourists
12 September 2017
“Bill Massey’s Tourists is a great piece of theatre! Based on her grandfather’s reflections of World War One, Jan Bolwell reveals both as a writer and performer the horrors, humour and pathos of those hellish times at the front. A moving experience…A terrific script. A great performance. A tale well told. Knocked me for six.”
(Raymond Hawthorne: veteran Auckland theatre director)
Bill Massey’s Tourists has left audiences weeping and laughing up and down the country. Consummate performer Jan Bolwell plays her adolescent self, trying to get her grandfather Arthur to talk about his war. After much pestering, he succumbs. What follows is a gripping, painful and sometimes hilarious tale of a young Kiwi soldier from the Otago Mounted Rifles (one of Bill Massey’s Tourists) who with his mate Cyril, survives the terrible tragedy of Passchendaele. The play is enlivened with dance sequences set to amusing and original WW1 soldiers’ ditties and First World War poems.
A Q&A follows the performance.