Short Plays by Local Authors July 2024

David Caplice

David Caplice’s Variations

What began as a pastime to amuse himself, creative writing has been something to which David has returned again and again. However, like so many young Australians he heard the seductive siren call “if you want to get ahead you need to travel to the Old Dart”.  David learnt firsthand that the streets of London were not paved with gold. But Germany proved welcoming and for nearly a decade he enjoyed career as a fine ballet dancer.

His monologue, Variations, was inspired by Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould, whose acclaimed interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations launched an international career.

“Glenn Gould was known for his eccentric and unorthodox musical interpretations and mannerisms at the keyboard. He stopped public performances at a young age and concentrated on studio recordings.” In tackling the monologue David says he was reflecting on “how fickle and subjective reactions can be to the always intriguing world of art.”    He holds no preordained view about how the audience will react. His hope and his expectation are that each individual audience member will be moved by their own interpretation of the storyline.

Mark O'Flynn

Mark O’Flynn’s Teatime in Limbo

This delicious comedy of misunderstandings between two friends sharing a cuppa is the second part of what Mark describes as four “squibs”. It stands perfectly well on its own with a nod to the first “squib” where their two husbands feature. As it unfolds tension builds between the two friends as the conversation takes on different and divergent paths. Mark’s script is laced with sidesteps and backsteps as the apparently simple pastime of taking tea unravels.

Mark has a solid pedigree in writing. Plays, novels and poetry have flowed from his desktop over the years. His drama has been staged at Penrith’s Q Theatre, His third novel ‘The Last Days of Ava Langdon’ was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award in 2017, as well as winning the Voss Literary Prize for that year, awarded by the peak body for the study of English at Australian universities..’ He has won several other literary awards.

Mark’s “squibs”, or little firecrackers, are meant to disrupt a more conventional way of communicating. Says Mark: “By tossing up language into a sort of salad whereby meaning is more a matter of chance rather than purpose. Which is often the way we communicate with others. The other squibs in the series also explore this theme.”

Lucy Twomey

Lucy Twomey’s Two Chairs

An estranged father and son are brought together and given a chance to reconnect and resolve the bitterness and misunderstandings that have plagued their relationship. But their attempts to justify their own positions threatens to widen the gulf between them. Lucy’s storytelling charts the emotional missteps that occurred at pivotal stages of the son’s formative years. A searing climax spotlights the tragedy of a family divided.

Lucy trained in dance and drama in London. She appeared in the Vagina Monologues in Sydney and in Working by Studs Terkel in Boston USA. In Blackheath she starred as one of the two Coco Chanels in the acclaimed BTC’s production of More than a Little Black Dress. Lucy also had a major role in the Four Shadow’s production of Sweet Dreams Baby.

Her writing career began as a journalist on newspapers and magazines in London. Upon arriving in Sydney, Lucy became Woman and Youth Page editor for The Australian newspaper, before joining SBS television as a researcher and scriptwriter.

Timothy Fahey

Tim Fahey’s Shafted

A corporate life that was involved firsthand in those uncertain days, when restructuring and downsizing was the particular fashion, is the dark inspiration for Tim’s play. The two actors are sparring like gladiators – each with a different stance as they face off in what in reality is a termination interview. A newby senior manager has called the meeting to sack a long-term sales manager. He is not going to go quietly. Tim says: “I saw instances like this close up from the inside.” He wonders with which one of the two flawed characters the audience will most sympathise.

It was after leaving the corporate world that Tim completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Sydney’s University of Technology. “That was a toughening experience. But excellent collaborative interaction with my peers.”

While Shafted is the first to be staged of Tim’s four similarly themed short plays, he has just completed a novel with a theme far removed from that corporate world. The storyline is about a boy growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney in the 1940s. A normal enough tale at first sight. Except one of the family members is a gangster.