HAPPY AS LARRY

by Malcolm Purcell

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HAPPY AS LARRY

by Malcolm Purcell

The Millers live with their hopes, dreams, fears and fights in an outer-suburban world.
John, the star of a local AFL club, hopes to play for a national club. It is the only interest Neville, his father, has left in a dull and disappointing life.
Marge (mother), Sally (daughter), and Sharon, John’s wife, struggle with and against each other and the men to cope with their present, unsatisfactory, lives and to “get on” to better ones.
Marge nurses ancient grievances against Neville, but has hopes for Sally and John, and of a piano which Neville once promised her.
Sally takes a modelling course. Only Marge and Nicholas, her boyfriend, encourage her. She waits for a call and works in a factory. Nicholas, of Lebanese descent, works at the same place, plays soccer and wants to marry her, which she keeps resisting.
Sharon wants to get a casual job, but John disapproves and the others are reluctant to help with baby-sitting. She wants a new house in a new suburb with new neighbours and tennis.
The women are at the heart of the play, as are promises – kept and not. Their hopes seem unlikely to be fulfilled. They remain self-absorbed, arguing over who owes what to whom. Marge overdoses on sleeping pills. Sharon leaves John. Sally loses her job and becomes pregnant.
Then Sally gets the call from the agency. Sharon re-unites with John after he gets a promotion. John stars as his club wins the Grand Final match. They celebrate with an impromptu football game in the living room. Everyone is “Happy as Larry”, except Sally. She attacks Nicholas and slashes herself with a knife.
They stop her and argue over whose fault it is. The others leave for the club. Sally asks Marge how to get an abortion.