Ballarat National Theatre

One Boys War Main Postenshoppedr Copy




Cast - Morgan Family

Pa Morgan Simon Carrol
Ma Morgan Chris Holmes
Bill Morgan Brendan Bawden
Lou Morgan Tim Harris
Rees Morgan Tim Harris
Eileen Morgan Alexandra Meerbach
Lull Morgan Janette Baxter
Bryan John Daykin
Ron Morgan Fergus McLaren

Cast - Taylor Family

Grandpa Taylor Hadley Thomson
Grandma Taylor Linda Ogier
Linda Leticia Frost
Alma Katrina Hill
Herb Tim Harris
Connie Linda Ogier
Little Cousin Bobby Gabriel Blake


Production Credits

Directed by Mary Rose McLaren
Stage Manager Sally Read
D.S.M. Savannah Clarke
Technical Crew Andrew Hill, Zac Jones & Fionnuala McKenna
Sound Set-Up Michael Zala
Switchboard Savannah Clarke


Pre Production Ivan & Yvonne Downing, Letecia Frost, Brian McClelland, Martin McGettigan, Tony McGuinness, Mary-Rose McLaren, Alex Meerbach, Tobias Meredith, Peter Nethercote, Julian Oldfield, Ken Prato, Hedley Thomson, Graham Walker

Foyer Yvonne Downing and BNT Members

Photography Gary Hunt
Graphic Design Wayne Hines


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Review – One Boy's War
Reviewer - Gail Sjogren

One Boy’s War – A Page in Ballarat’s History

At the start of World War 2 a Ballarat father left his young son in the care of his grandparents and went off to ‘do his bit’ for his country. For the next five years he wrote long letters to his son whenever and wherever he could, from Tobruk, Egypt, the Middle East and New Guinea. His son kept those letters in a tin box and they moved with him wherever he went until recently they were read by his daughter.

That daughter is Mary-Rose McLaren, writer and director of One Boy’s War, the current production of the Ballarat National Theatre. Her parents, Ron and Monica Morgan, will be well known to many Ballarat residents which makes this theatre premiere experience all the more intimate and moving.

What is even more remarkable is that the role of the young Ron Morgan is played with great feeling by his grandson Fergus McLaren. He and Brendan Bawden, as his father Bill, bring this long-distance relationship to moving life, using excerpts from many of the actual letters. They are ably supported by a large cast, many of whom will be known to Ballarat theatre goers. As Ma Morgan, the dominant grandmother, Chris Holmes is particularly convincing but the whole cast is extremely strong and versatile as several take on more than one role.

This is a family saga set at a time and in a place which will be familiar to so many, and based firmly in the very real letters of a generation who lived through the war, with all the joys and sorrows, the family conflicts and shared moments, that such a time brings. For the younger members of the audience it will bring to life a time of hardships and sacrifices they have thankfully not had to experience.

The director and BNT should be congratulated on staging so creative and unusual a drama.