With the Japanese army rampaging through the South Pacific in 1942, the battle to save Australia was fought along New Guinea’s infamous Kokoda track by a motley militia of poorly trained young Australians plucked off the streets of Melbourne and Sydney. Private Morris Powell is one those heroes and through Todd Gray we join him in the battles and the lonely wet nights, hearing his story of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice – the making of the men that rescued Australia from invasion and turned the Pacific war.
First premiered on the 75th anniversary of the Japanese army’s invasion of New Guinea at the height of WWII, Kokoda has drawn acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. This has been for not only the acting of Todd Gray and Peter Maddern’s well researched script but also for the soundscape and lighting design developed to take audiences into the action, the jungle and the thoughts of a young volunteer soldier a long way from home.
“Todd Gray is outstanding as a loveable larrikin who lets off steam with a longneck” – The Advertiser
“Maddern’s brilliant script and this play deserve to be widely seen and appreciated”– The Clothesline
“Gray’s ockerism was superb and endearing, and fresh from the ’40s” – Barefoot Review
“Kokoda finds a balance between fact and feeling, and that is ultimately its greatest achievement” – All Over Adelaide
“Grey’s performances stuns his audience”– Radio Adelaide
“Kokoda is what everyone should know; a story of simple men across the history of Australia.” – Kryztoff.com
Todd Gray – Actor
Todd is a 2009 Graduate from The Adelaide Collage of the Arts. Since graduating, Todd has been a regular face on the stand-up circuit in South Australia (and for a while in England as well when living there in 2014-15) where he writes and performs his own material.
Todd has also co-written and directed several self-devised pieces and is a weekly regular on the 5AA sports show Sportsday SA, where he is covers the greyhound segment. Todd also writes for The Advertiser’s racing section.
Todd has training in multiple acting styles and has also worked with children in several charity events as well as several master of ceremonies credits at various, functions and festivals.
Peter Maddern – Writer / Director
Peter has come to writing only recently after a career in business with skills ranging from working as a solicitor, merchant banker, family business consultant, venture creator and financier. He has also acted as founder, CEO and/or director of various client companies as well as a listed ASX company. His writing output to date includes three plays premiering at the Adelaide Fringe from 2016-2018, and an action short film and web series.
Gilded Balloon Teviot – Nightclub
1-12, 14-27 August