From Sydney, NSW


by Toby Schmitz

A Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company Production

 Previous Season:  2007 Ols Fitzroy Theatre, Sydney
 Genre:  Drams
 Duration:  80 minutes
 Suits:  Proscenium Arch, Black Box
 Minimum Stage:  8m x 3m x 4m
 Touring:  2010 - 2011

‘A violently active, dominating, intrepid, brutal youth - that is what I am after. It must be indifferent to pain.' Adolf Hitler

Critical Stages and Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company are proud to present a play about history and our children, warfare and freewill.

CAPTURE THE FLAG tells the gripping story of three young boys huddled for days in a Berlin drain in 1945 as the Russian tanks rumble through the streets above. It is the last gasp of World War II. Karl and Albert are both 12 years old, and members of the Hitler Youth - desperate to become men before their time and entrenched in the belief that their "body belongs to their nation". Herret is only eight years old and desperate to get back to his mother, his indoctrination is not as complete as his companions but he knows enough to fall in line. The rules of their favourite game have changed and now the bullets are real.

These boys have been conditioned to fight to the last bullet but, almost paralysed by fear and indecision, they fight among themselves. One moment they talk about the promises made to them by Hitler and in the next they talk the promise of love and girls and dream about their first kiss. The sudden arrival of a teenage girl running from the occupiers jolts a final reality into the boys and they must face what we already know. The war has been lost. Adults have betrayed them. It has all been in vain.

Toby Schmitz's CAPTURE THE FLAG is a dark, intelligent and unlikely story where coming of age meets historical apocalypse. Reminiscent of gritty historical dramas about political decline such as " Downfall " and " Underground " CAPTURE THE FLAG is also sprinkled with hints of classic coming of age tales like " Dead Poet's Society " or " Stand by Me ". It is through the unique combination of the historical and the personal that makes Schmitz's work so unique and engaging.

Acclaimed as an actor in STC's " Travesties " and Company B Belvoir's " Ruben Guthrie ", Toby Schmitz is also a successful writer and director, winning the 2002 Patrick White Award for his play " Lucky " and the 2004 Australian National Playwrights Award for " Chicks will Dig You! ".

CAPTURE THE FLAG had its world premiere at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2007 as part of the Tamarama Rock Surfers 10th Anniversary Season. The production is beautifully comprised and simply executed - "Strong set and costume design (Leland Kean and Lisa Walpole), Jeremy Silver's intricately orchestrated soundscape and Luiz Pampolha's gloomy lighting contribute powerfully to an excellent production.", Jason Blake, Sun Herald

CAPTURE THE FLAG is a rare example of an Australian play that delves into bold historical issues of global significance and it is a play that bravely tackles a slice of human history we could too easily ignore.

"Simple and affecting ... effective and evocative", Sydney Morning Herald

"An excellent production - 8/10", Sun Herald

"A thought-provoking and engaging piece of work", Stagenoise  

Writer and Director Toby Schmitz
Set Designer Leland Kean
Costume Designer Lisa Walpole
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Sound Designer  Jeremy Silver




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