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Emma Gibson’s update from down-under

Partner in crime Rob and I have now turned in the first working draft of for the You Are Here/ 24:7 collaboration.

Our brief was to write a piece exploring the experiences of Australia and Great Britain in the First World War.

While it’s often thought of as a European event, the war had a profound impact on Australia.

Australia was a young nation – it was only federated in 1901 – so it was only entering adolescence when young men went away to fight.  For many of them it was an opportunity for adventures in far-away lands.

Almost 39% of the total male population aged 18-to 44 enlisted in the war. The Australian casualty rate (65% of embarkations) was among the highest in the war.

Every year on the 25 April we mark Anzac Day – the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

The women who enlisted as nurses are not as well remembered in history, so I knew immediately I wanted to write about a nurse. Happily, this worked well with Rob’s idea for the soldier character he wanted to write.

Because the ideas seemed to sit well together, we ambitiously decided to write a play with interwoven stories, rather than presenting two separate pieces in a double bill.

Further proving we were on the same page, Rob and I both came up with the same title separately: War Stories.

We’ve had a lot of fun bouncing ideas off each other via email, Facebook and Skype, including  when I read Rob’s draft sections and had A Very Exciting Idea, which we are both quite pleased with!

Being on opposite sides of the world hasn’t been difficult – in fact, we’ve both made the most of the time difference to pass the script back and forth overnight.

You can follow more about the process with the latest blog/vlog HERE.