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1 Taranaki Street, Wellington | Box Office Ph: 04 801 7992
Duration: 2pm, Saturday 16 April 2016
Price: $12 - $19
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Written by Philip Braithwaite

The War Play

“Private Jack Braithwaite’s story is so simple it could be summarised in a few words: he went to fight in the Great War, he behaved badly as a soldier, he was executed. Yet there is so much more to it than that. For his bad behaviour, Jack was sent to a military prison, Blarghies, in the north of France. There, he was involved in a mutiny, and for his part in the skirmish he was relieved of his future by a British firing squad.

“For decades, that was all my family knew about the incident. But in the 1980s, several documents came to light that showed Jack was largely innocent of the charges laid at his feet – instead of causing a mutiny, it transpired, he was trying to avert one. All the shame that hung over my family for decades was unfounded.

“This is what I’ve tried to explore in The War Play, and I’ve written the story of my Great Uncle in a way that is unconventional and eccentric, because this is a strange and unwieldy tale, but one that needed to be told.”
– Philip Braithwaite

The War Play won the 2014 Robert Lord Award for Best Script at the Dunedin Theatre Awards.

 Stick around after the reading for a Q&A!


war play 560x300 web


Jason Whyte

Alex Grieg

John Landreth

Kenneth Gaffney


“…the audience were kept spell-bound.”

The War Play is both heart-wrenching and intensely thought-provoking.”

“…a revelation of an extraordinary and terrible chapter in New Zealand’s military history, which has resonated down through the years.”

“Highly recommended.”



“The War Play’s depiction of war’s inhumanity is horrifying.”

Otago Daily Times

Circa Play Readings

As part of the 2016 Circa Season we will be presenting a number of Play Readings throughout the year. In our 40th birthday year we are delighted to celebrate the 100+ New Zealand playwrights whose work has captivated our audiences over the years.

A Play Reading will include actors on stage reading the play in full, directed and rehearsed in advance of the public reading.

  • Tickets are available from the Circa Box Office or here: Book Now!

    Full price: $19

    Friends & Concessions: $15

    Industry: $12


    To reserve a ticket, please call the Box Office on 04 801 7992.

Play Reading - Braithwaite, Philip

Philip Braithwaite has been writing plays since 1999. In 2000 he won the New Zealand Young Playwrights’ Award. Amongst his other credits are the BBC World Service/British Council International Radio Playwriting Award 2001, and the Adam NZ Play Award 2013 for his play The Mercy Clause.
Philip Braithwaite, Writer