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About Dust & Ruin


  • Genre: Drama

  • Director: Mary Rose McLaren

Cast - Morgan Family

Simon Carrol

Pa Morgan

Chris Holmes

Ma Morgan

Brendan Bawden

Bill Morgan

Tim Harris

Lou Morgan

Tim Harris

Rees Morgan

Alexandra Meerbach

Eileen Morgan

Janette Baxter

Lull Morgan

John Daykin


Fergus McLaren

Ron Morgan

Cast - Taylor Family

Hadley Thomson

Grandpa Taylor

Linda Ogier

Grandma Taylor

Leticia Frost


Katrina Hill


Tim Harris


Linda Ogier


Gabriel Blake

Little Cousin Bobby


  • 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

  • Foyer

    Foyer Yvonne Downing and BNT Members

  • Photography

    Gary Hunt

  • Graphic Design

    Wayne Hines

  • 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


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.