by Noel Hodda

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by Noel Hodda

Ken and Les, two older men, are fishing in the middle of a man-made lake on a hot afternoon. They are both crusty characters, carrying their history with them. It is a week since the funeral of Edie, Les’s wife. Ken’s wife, Cath, has died some time before.

All is well until the outboard motor refuses to start and the men are becalmed, trapped in the middle of the lake. Talk turns to argument, argument leads to blame and blame leads to attack as they chop away at the fabric of their lives. Throughout all this the world under their boat – the flooded valley, the drowned homes and lost children – continues to play on Ken’s mind.

Nothing can be done and the men are forced to spend the night on the lake. During this night Ken is confronted by his past – his dead son and wife. Salvation arrives in the form of a helicopter but this also is part of his nightmare. He wakes to a cold pre-dawn and the hope of a morning wind that will carry them into shore and safety. This hope comes too late for Les, who has died in the night.

Ken is left alone with his dead companion as the dawn sun rises across a distant peak and the promised wind begins to arrive. He cries openly and with great release, his face turned towards the rising sun and the future.

Half Safe is a discrete companion play to The Secret House. The interval is optional.

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