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Leo Bone, a returned serviceman from the Vietnam War, currently works as a night security guard at a remote suburban motel. Leo is 58 years old and carries with him the deep wounds of war: a prosthetic leg, a replacement liver, suspected bowel cancer, paranoia, guilt, sleeplessness and an aversion to social interaction. He also carries with him unforgettable memories and deep regrets. But he has the saving grace of a dry, ironic wit.
On the night that the play covers, a young couple move into one of the cabins at the motel. Something about them makes Leo suspicious but he cannot communicate the reasons for this to his security control. As the night unfolds his fears prove to be well founded and Leo and the couple move towards a fatal and explosive encounter.
At the same time, Leo finds a means of facing up to the two deep wounds that he has been repressing for decades. The first involves Leo's guilt and regret at abandoning his child and separating from his wife on his return from the horrific war front. In the second, he is finally able to articulate the details of the stupid military mistake that resulted in his losing his leg.
The Inhabited Man is about a lost generation of Australian men. It is based on considerable research into the suffering of Vietnam veterans.
But it is also about forms of survival by the human spirit. The play is a combination of song, film, video, intense action and deep and poetic language. It is exciting theatrically. It depends upon strong performances for its humanity to communicate.