Focus on younger vets in revised Foxholes

Acclaimed playwright Bernard Clancy. 157015

Ocean Grover Bernard Clancy is an acclaimed playwright, author and journalist and his latest venture is all set to go next month at the Potato Shed in Drysdale.
Mr Clancy’s riveting stage play about post traumtic stress disorder (PTSD), Foxholes of the Mind, premiered at La Mama theatre in Carlton to virtually sold out audiences in 2010 and it had a profound effect on veterans, wives and families and was widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.
This 2016 production is an updated version of the original play.
“I originally wrote Foxholes because I wanted to highlight the tragedy of PTSD, to try to stop the terrible waste and destruction of the human spirit that PTSD entails,“ Mr Clancy said.
“But after talking with younger veterans over the past few years, I came to the shocking realisation that the PTSD problem is getting worse … much worse. I needed to include the voice of the younger veteran, to highlight the cry for help from our young men and women
who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. For this reason, I re-wrote Foxholes to include the voice of the younger vet. It’s a compelling – and somewhat frightening – story. My fellow Vietnam veterans have a great empathy with younger vets for they are our sons
and daughters, this year being the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, and while we ‘honour the dead’ we also ‘fight like hell for the living’. And that’s what Foxholes is all about: caring for those who come home from conflict, in our name, with wounds of the mind. Politicians must sit up and take notice.”
Clancy is a member of Ocean Grove/Barwon Heads RSL sub-branch and vice-president of the Geelong and District Vietnam Veterans Association.
Clancy is also author of the acclaimed Vietnam War novel Best We Forget, a sardonic, powerful account of a bizarre war, laced with black humour and savage brutality. It has been described by readers as ‘Australia’s Catch 22’.
“They (politicians) must understand that to commit a young Australian to war may well be a sentence to a lifetime of pain, stress and anguish. They must be able to say that they would do the same to their child as anyone else’s,” he said.
“If the play prompts just one vet with PTSD to seek help, then I’ll be very happy, indeed.”
Performances are on 9, 10, 12, 13 (7.30 pm) and 14 August (matinee 3.30pm). Bookings are now open. For further details, go to