Wes Carr will return to the Rolling Thunder Vietnam theatre show on the Gold Coast this year.
Wes Carr will return to the Rolling Thunder Vietnam theatre show on the Gold Coast this year. Contributed

Carr keen to highlight pain of Vietnam War

WES Carr had never acted in front of a live audience before his involvement in 2014 rock theatre show Rolling Thunder Vietnam – Songs That Defined a Generation.

The production, which delves into the era of the Vietnam War through Australian eyes, has played to sold-out theatres everywhere.

The moving story was what drew the former Australian Idol winner to the project, but the response cemented his return to the stage.

“The story is part of our history in Australia,” Carr said. But for many younger Australians, home-grown stories about the Vietnam era weren’t as accessible as those told from a US perspective.

“I’m 33, and I guess from 40 down we don’t really know much about the Vietnam War from our Australian side, it’s all been American,” he said.

“They were given an option to go to jail or go to war. No one really knows that.

“I’m often ashamed that, in hindsight, not many want to talk about it. This show’s important because it gives them a voice.”

Vietnam veterans were among the crowds at the 2014 stagings of Rolling Thunder Vietnam and Carr said their response was overwhelming.

He hoped the show would leave the audience with some insight into the perils of conflict.

“It’s good to be helpfully reminding you of what other generations had to go through,” he said.

“More and more we are reminded that war doesn’t work. Fighting, in general, fighting at the dinner table, fighting for a parking spot, it doesn’t work.

“But we all have to be reminded of the darkness to see the light.”

Carr distanced Rolling Thunder Vietnam from the tag of a “musical”, but admitted the soundtrack was the driving force behind the production.

“The soundtrack of that generation changed the world,” Carr said.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam features the music of Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Gladys Knight, Bill Thorpe and Paul Simon.

Along with preparing for this show, Carr is working on a new solo album and has recently launched Spirit Songs creative coaching.

Visit wescarr.com.au for details.

The show

  • What: Rolling Thunder Vietnam – Songs That Defined a Generation
  • Where: Jupiters Theatre, Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Gold Coast
  • When: Fri and Sat, August 5–6, at 7.30pm, Sat matinee 2pm
  • Tickets: From $79.90, ticketek.com.au or Jupiters Box Office 0755928303


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