IN 1982 Peter Hardy played the character of Hughie in The One Day Of The Year.
This year he returns as Hughie's father Alf in a remake of the Australian production at Her Majesty's Theatre on Thursday.
As the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing draws near, Ballarat audiences have the chance to understand the thoughts of young Australians during World War I through a fresh take on the Australian classic.
Following the stories of war veterans Alf Cook, his friend Wacka Dawson and Cook's son Hughie, The One Day of the Year looks at the legend of the Anzacs through the eyes of generation, class and character.
Hardy said it was the production's ability to provide a connection between the Anzacs and real time appeal of the war that created great appeal for Australian audiences, and despite not being a true story, it opened up many thoughts into the Australia of then.
"Judging by the response so far it's the authenticity I think people are enjoying most," he said.
"It is a product of the time. The most effective part of the playwrite is the truth of the characters and truth of Australia at the time.
"They're life-like characters in life-like situations."
The play looks at the meaning of Anzac Day to different people, like Cook and Dawson who take it as a chance to commemorate history, celebrate heroism and conjure national pride, to Hughie who flies the flag for every different reality.
Hardy said the play was something everyone could learn from and in some way create their own thoughts on Anzac Day.
"It's the perfect antidote to reality TV and cooking shows; this is a slice of reality, this is real people doing real things," he said.
"It's good for people to think about the topic of the play, but it's not just about Anzacs, it's about mateship, family, sacrifice."
WHAT:The One Day Of The Year by Alan Seymour (directed Denis Moore)
WHEN: Thursday March 12 at 7.30pm
TICKETS: Pre-sale until March 11, $38, family $90. Adults $50, member $40, concession $45, child/student $15, group 6+ $40, family $110.