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Dust of Uruzgan first show in Newcastle Civic Theatre season

A LIVE music performance offering a glimpse of Afghanistan beyond the news headlines will kick off Newcastle Civic Theatre’s 2016 season.

Songwriter and diplomat Fred Smith, who did two tours to southern Afghanistan in 2010 and 2013, will present Dust of Uruzgan – a collection of songs written from his experiences in the Uruzgan Province – in Newcastle on Saturday, February 13.

After releasing the Dust of Uruzgan album in 2011, which received rave reviews, Smith began touring a stage show. The show is based on his album which combines songs, humour and commentary.

It is complemented with a set of projected photographs taken by military and civilian photographers.

With Australian soldiers no longer in southern Afghanistan, the Dust of Uruzgan show is a unique opportunity for the public to learn more about what it was like to be in the country.

The show includes snippets of footage of Uruzgan leaders explaining the impact Australians had on the province.

“I think it’s important to give the Australian public an accurate account of what it was like for the 20,000 or so Australian soldiers and civilians who served in Afghanistan,” Smith said.

“There’s a lazy post-Vietnam era type scepticism out there about our involvement in Afghanistan, but we made a positive difference in Uruzgan province in the time we were there and I want the Australian public to know that.”

The show will be staged outdoors on the grounds of the historic Fort Scratchley in Newcastle.

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