Grounded, by acclaimed and award-winning playwright, George Brant, offers Libby Munro the chance to once again give a star turn in a monologue that shines a light on the ethics of modern warfare.
The play, presented by Queensland Theatre Company, is directed by Andrea Moor, and runs until August 22 at Studio 2, The Greenhouse.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who saw Libby Munro in her Matilda Award-winning QTC debut, Venus in Fur – which received standing ovations on Opening Night – you’ll probably jump at the opportunity to see her again work her stage magic in Grounded. She plays an unnamed pilot, one of the air force’s top guns who does her job with bravado and dedication. But then the pilot falls in love, then falls pregnant and is forced to take a break from the skies.
When she returns to work, she finds that she’s now part of the new kind of warfare – remotely piloting a drone. She calls it being in ‘the chair force’ and it certainly doesn’t match up to the satisfaction she used to get flying through the skies and dropping bombs. As she obliterates convoys and villages from the safety of her chair in the Nevada desert, she has to examine her actions, especially when she goes home at night and looks at her beloved daughter sleeping.
Grounded is a searing play looking at moral responsibility and how the dehumanising aspect of piloting drones is having a substantial psychological effect on the pilots. It’s sure to be another tour de force for its solo performer.
By Vicki Englund