Thursday, 12 May 2005

Human Shrapnel

I got up early, got my head together, packed a rucksack full of stuff, some of it I needed, some of it I didn't and ran to school...arriving in a sweaty angry heap in the rehearsal room. Then the real pain began.

'Human Shrapnel' is a play I've written in partnership with a number of war veterans and one young man still fighting in Iraq. It tells the story of a man who joined the army to escape the hell he grew up in and finds himself discharged back into the hell he was running away from but this time he's been trained to kill and seen and done some terrible things.

It's about the circle of violence some young men are trapped in, about how we take soldiers for granted as they lay down their lives for causes they don't believe in, about a young man, ex-soldier, ex-human, trying to exist, trying to keep his head above water, drowning in the deadening sense of his own life.

It's not an easy piece to perform but I got through it four times today. It was like paint stripping my heart. I'll leave you with another excerpt:

It takes a lot of effort to wear down these little people's souls. It takes time to break them in. So the kids wait, drinking pop from plastic bottles with bendy straws, sharing a bag of crisps. Waiting for mum and dad to stop drinking and to start fighting, then at least they'll know that they're there.


  1. Like I said before...Politics, war, etc. I just don't discuss because it leads to arguments where no one wins.

    However, that sounds like a great project you have been involved in, and I commend your abilities and courage to write and perform something so controversial. Kudos to you mate!

  2. you never were one to shy away from controversy or the darker side of human nature.

  3. Kudos to you, Daniel, for the bravery it takes to do such a performance. I hope someday it comes to the States.


  4. Now that would be great. If any US readers know o flocal theatres and fancy putting me up while I do the show I'll be more than willing!

  5. From the excerpts I've read, this seems to be an exceptional piece. I would love to see it sometime if it comes to the US...


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