THE ELOCUTION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

by Steve J. Spears

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THE ELOCUTION OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

by Steve J. Spears

This script is part of the Nimrod 50 Collection

A single actor plays "Robert O'Brien", an outwardly respectable elocution tutor based in a suburb of Melbourne. The play begins with O'Brien walking on stage naked, describing the foibles of his students as he dresses. It is revealed that O’Brien himself likes to dress in feminine clothing and is obsessed with a young, beautiful student, one "Benjamin Franklin". The final revelation that he is confined in a "mental institution" challenges our assumptions about mental health, the treatment of queer lives and the private world of public figures.

“A compassionate, funny, fiercely eloquent play…” Michael Billington – The Guardian, 1978

Content Warning: This play contains potentially problematic historical representations of ‘transvestitism’, mental illness and queer lives.

First published by Currency Press, 1977.

First produced at Nimrod, 1976.