by Melissa Reeves

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by Melissa Reeves


Loosely based on events that took place in country Victoria in the mid nineties, Furious Mattress is the story of a back-yard exorcism that goes tragically wrong. Convinced that his wife is possessed, Pierce enlists the aid of Annette and Max, and together they battle for the soul of Elsie. As the country swelters in the grip of a heat-wave, even Elsie's death can't shake Pierce and Annette's desperate conviction they have done the right thing, and together they wait for her miraculous return.

Furious Mattress explores the human capacity for committing atrocities under the banner of doing good, and how ordinary and sad such tragedies can be, even at the extremes of human behaviour. We usually see ourselves as being very normal and incapable of viciousness and the play resonates with the perennial question most notably posed by the Nazi holocaust. How does 'evil' manifest itself in scores of people who see nothing obscene in their lives?

Stylistically, the play employs a slightly heightened form of psychological realism with surreal, grotesque and comic elements as well as moments of great pathos as well as beauty - which sounds contradictory but there are many contradictions in the play; it is about contradiction.

Tom Healey in conversation with Melissa Reeves about Furious Mattress:

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Recommended for tertiary study

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