If you read this blog there’s a fair chance you’re already familiar with the work of Australian broadcaster and writer Michael Veitch, who has over the last decade produced three books based on interviews with a large number of WWII aircrew. Each book contains 20 or so individual chapters, each focusing on one particular veteran.
“Inside the head of every pilot, navigator or gunner who flew during the Second World War is at least one extraordinary story,” Veitch begins Flak, the first book in the series. He made it his self-imposed mission to collect, and then tell, as many of those stories as he could, and the resulting books are an excellent record of them. They are well worth reading if you have the chance to get your hands on a copy.
But Veitch is probably better-known for his acting and media work, appearing on such 90s shows as Full Frontal, The D Generation and Fast Forward. This unique skill set has enabled him to turn the stories of six airmen featured in the first book into a searingly powerful, sometimes funny and overall very human one-man stage show, called Flak.
I managed to catch Flak in September last year, at the Gasworks Theatre in Albert Park. It’s a brilliant show. He takes on the characters of the veterans themselves, and manages to capture just what it is actually like talking to them: their mannerisms, their sometimes halting speech – but above all, their humanity. It’s highly recommended.
And it’s back in Melbourne.
Veitch will perform Flak in St Kilda on 22 and 23 October. Tickets here.
Declaration: I have no connection with Michael Veitch or the venue or anything associated with this show. I just enjoyed it and thought the audience for this blog might be interested too.