Fond Love and Kisses

They left as boys and came back old before their time, but did the society they were fighting for care?

Two brothers, Henry and Will return to Wellington - Will to his finacee Fiona and Henry to nurse a bottle. Ecpecting to be treated as heroes it's not long before they realise that people mostly think of them as a nuisance and wish they'd go back to war. The brothers' reaction to this and the war lead them on journeys to self-realisation that take them in radically different and unexpected directions.

Based on a real story of the 5000 men on who returned to NZ on furlough during WWII in 1943. Only 800 went back - 700 were given court martials and were discharged for desertion.

Downstage Theatre, NZ, 2003

NZ Drama School, 2005



From the reviews

"Bravo to Allen O’Leary for telling a bitter truth about wartime New Zealand, and doing so with such insight and compassion." - Sunday Star Times

"Fond Love and Kisses is a multi-faceted drama that comprehensively takes its central characters through confrontation, crisis and catharsis... a consummate work of theatre art that demands you ask questions of it. And the more you think the answers through, the more it rewards you.... Anyone who has grown up in New Zealand will have someone in the family or a neighbour, teacher or colleague who was directly affected by what the play covers. Both times I saw it, the audience was riveted, appreciative and still engaged beyond its short two-hour running time." - National Business Review

"Full credit must go to O’Leary for his well researched play, which encompasses divergent locations of ‘war is hell’ on the front lines and the difficult domestic environment which the soldiers encountered... Absorbing and honest throughout, this was a play of soaring emotions." - Capital Times