Theatre from the cracks in the psyche of culture











A spirited play of love and survival told in an exceptional way

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Violine is an Australian play featuring moments from the actual war time diaries of Jack Woodward who was captured at Kalamata Bay during the Greek campaign and later imprisoned in Austria for four years until the end of World War 2.

Violine premiered on 30th. October  2003
at The Street Theatre, cnr. Childers St., and University Ave. Canberra City

A live radio version of the work was presented in February 2015 at The Mercury in Canberra.


Jack Woodward
(A.I.F. Q.X.8750 and
POW 4030)

Violine incorporates selections from the actual war time diary of Jack Woodward (A.I.F. Q.X.8750 and POW 4030) who was captured at Kalamata Bay in Greece and imprisoned at Stalag 18a in Wolfsberg Austria mostly at Work Camp  11072 GW in Gradnitz (near Klagenfurt) for four years between 1941 and 1945. Over this time, he kept a diary recording events, observations and feelings. Cigarette parcels from the Red Cross were exchanged for note books and pencils. He was fortunate to have guards willing to barter. In the camp he wrote musical revues with another POW, Cid Charmers, and conducted a choir and small orchestra. Photographs depicting aspects of this activity still survive and some can be seen in the links below.

Gradnitz Work Camp where Jack Woodward spent most of his incarceration during World War 2. It was a very
small camp with only a single barrak. Yet it managed to also have a "little theatre" in which Woodward
and Sid Charmers produced their musicals such as "Babes In The Woods".

Jack Woodward is the violinist third from the right. This "Little Theatre" in Gradnitz was a very temporary space.

A large cast and band was assembled for music performances. The photos were kept ver neatly in a large
book with careful labelling done in Jack Woodward's hand writing. He is seated in the front row of this
cast picture and Sid Charmers (UK) is seated in the third row (fourth from the right) and wearing a tie.

Charmers and Woodward as a couple of 
"College Cads" in performance at Gradnitz


Violine links (click on the link for an image):





Rehearsal Party

JW and writers

Musicians & boxers

Break in rehearsal

Jack Woodward with Concert Party at Gradnitz

Stalag 18a site 1

Pictures and plans of Stalag 18a and interesting information

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