Our November picks for community theatre
24 Nov 2015
John Kachoyan - AustralianPlays.org Literary Manager
The end of 2015 (this is my last Bulletin for the year) might seem a little ‘bloke-heavy’, but these are two plays that are worth a serious look – for very different reasons. The late, great and sorely-missed Nick Enright wrote what some deem his masterpiece, Good Works in 1993. Water Falling Down by Sydney-based playwright Mark Swivel was written 17 years later. They are both meditations – struggles with the nature of family and love, and both feature strong and unusually frank explorations of the complex nature of masculinity.
Water Falling Down is a journey play about a father and a son. The father who has recently lost his wife has begun to exhibit signs of dementia. Together, father and son travel to Europe and, in a beautiful and elegiac duet, discover the deep love and connection that they share. This is an extraordinary work for two great actors, rich and affecting – and a great showcase!
Good Works has been described as Enright’s most personal play. It takes the form of a ‘memory’ play and travels across three separate decades. At its centre is the relationship between two men who became friends as boys. The play shoots backwards and forwards in time, re-examining the past and its inexorable effect on a future it cannot predict. This is a masterpiece of its genre – profoundly moving and deeply sympathetic to the foibles and vanities of being alive. It has recently been revived in Sydney to great acclaim and will hopefully receive many future productions. Great roles, huge challenges in design and directing – this is a must-read for anyone seeking an Australian classic.
All good wishes for a happy Silly Season, and a safe and prosperous New Year. See you in 2016!
Tom Healey, Literary Manager