Our February picks for community theatre
Tom Healey - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
Hello, and here we are in 2017!! To kick this year off I have chosen two plays with, as always, splendid roles for actors, but which have a small and domestic type of setting. These are both pieces that appeal to the heart of the audience, albeit in very different ways. The first, Peta Murray’s WALLFLOWERING is a gentle, if bittersweet work, while the second, Daniel Keene’s CAFÉ TABLE: THREE CONVERSATIONS examines, as his works so often do, the fleeting loneliness of big city life.
WALLFLOWERING is one of the most successful plays I can remember in the Australian canon. It tells the story of a couple, Peg and Cliff, who are heading into old age and trying to find a way to keep their lives happy and strong. Peg’s friends are giving her feminist tracts to read and Cliff, anxious and self-effacing is trying to resurrect a long-abandoned talent for ballroom dancing. This is a gorgeous and delicate work about the constant evolution of long-terms relationships and would be a huge hit with the right actors and production team. Do you have a couple of senior actors in your company that deserve a big go?? This is it!!
CAFÉ TABLE by Daniel Keene is a sequence of three short plays, all of which take place in the same café. The action takes place over a single day – morning afternoon and evening. In the morning, two refugees, one older and settled in and one younger, newly arrived meet up. In the second, a pair of friends in their sixties and in the evening a divorced couple. The conversations, like all of Keene’s dialogue are incredibly spare and delicate, full of regret and apprehension about the future. This is a portrait of people who are poised on the edge of something – death, or failure, or depression perhaps. As with most of Keene’s plays, it is never stated. But the encounters have a fullness and a profundity which is very moving. A fantastic opportunity for some brilliant acting and a play that, while apparently very simple, leaves you haunted and thinking.
Tom Healey, Literary Manager