* Contents derived from the Paddington,Kings Cross area,Inner Sydney,Sydney,New South Wales,:Currency Press,National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University,1995 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The quest for home and security is a recurrent theme and in Delphiniums we have the story of Queenie and Ed Burton, two pensioners slowly ground deeper into poverty and powerlessness by their lack of secure housing. From the beginning of the play we see Queenie and Ed as humble people who want nothing more than to live in peace and be good neighbours. They are simple, elderly people with few demands other than Queenie's absolute need to make a garden. She is a naturally nervous woman who relies upon the kindness of others to make her feel good about herself. Her nervousness is highlighted and increased by the monosyllabic Mrs Corby, their new landlady - a scowling, bitter woman who seems to dislike seeing other people happy....The gradual transformation of Queenie, from a naturally kind and open woman to someone who is capable of relishing any misfortune that befalls Mrs Corby, and the subtle shift of dependency between Queenie and Ed that occurs because of this, highlights the delicacy with which Shepherd draws her characters. Kerry Kilner, 'Introduction', Playing the Past: Three Plays by Australian Women (1995): vii-viii).
Always forced to move, the Burtons try to make 'home' wherever they are. Mrs Corby finally forces them to move again. In her disappointment, Queenie smashes the delphiniums she has grown-"She was cruel to me-but I shouldn't have done it-they was so beautiful-When I came here I was a good woman-I should have left her to Gawd." (The Campbell Howard Annotated Index of Australian Plays 1920-1955 (1993) edited by Jack Bedson and Julian Croft (1993):339)
Includes the original and edited scripts for performance opening.
Introduction by Kerry Kilner (pp. v-xx).
Australian Drama Project Series; 1.
Series:Current Theatre SeriesCurrency Press
1983-series - publisher 'Current Theatre Series consists of Australian plays published with the program inserted and sold during theatre seasons. The aim of the series is to promote and encourage new dramatic writing and make it accessible to theatregoers and the public. The text is presented at the first day of rehearsal and does not contain changes which the author may choose to make after the play has commenced its present season - these will be incorporated into any new edition published by Currency.' Currency Press.Australian Drama Project Seriesseries - publisher