Set on an island off the coast of Queensland, the play deals with the refusal of a lighthouse keeper to recognise the effect that the geographic and social isolation is having on his family.Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
Monica Sefton has worked out the perfect murder, and once she finishes her crime play she is certain to be famous. But she doesn't count on her manuscript mysteriously disappearing, or on the sudden appearance of a stray black cat. These omens mark the beginning of events Monica never imagined—a real murder case where she is the key suspect.
BILL SEFTON A journalist
MONICA his wife (also a writer)
MRS. IDAMAE LAMPREY their landlady
DR. GILBERT NORTON a neighbour
SYLVIA MEADE (hat and gloves)
ANDREW MEADE (thin, untidy man in his mid-thirties, fellow journalist to BILL)
DETECTIVE DENNIS MARSH
CHIEF INSPECTOR WILLIAM BURKE (fifties, formal)
CAT (soft toy)Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
'The action takes place in a studio audition-room [...] The story concerns Larry Carlson, Australian soldier, and Clay Tuttle, an American serviceman, who meet in Finschhafen, New Guinea. When both are invalided out of the Army, they meet again in Sydney, and it is then that their plans of acquiring a radio station are realised. The success of this venture depends entirely on interesting two wealthy sponsors. An audition is duly arranged, and Mr. McGuinnis is present, while Mr. Mandelberg listens-in at home. But Mr McGuinnis rather complicates things by falling out of his chair, dead. It is then that things begin to happen.'
Source: 'Thriller by Local Dramatist', Australian Women's Weekly, 5 August 1944, p.15.
CLARENCE PARSONS a radio actor
MURIEL PARSONS his wife
ARNOLD VICKERY studio supervisor
LARRY CARLSON general manager
CHARLES MCGINNIS a visitor
MRS. JANET VAN LEYDEN
JOSEPH MANDELBERG a businessmanFortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
'The scene is laid in a small village on the coast of Southern Queensland. The theme of the play is the conflict between a lonely mother, who has lost her husband and son at sea, and her daughter, who wants to break away from her mother's influence and make her own life. Throughout the play, always in the background, is heard the sea.'
'The Jottings of a Lady about Town', Sunday Times, 5 November 1939, p.21.Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
Adapted by Marcus Clarke from W. S. Gilbert and Gilbert A' Beckett's burlesque of the same name (1873), The Happy Land is a two act satire in blank verse and prose, which targets a tinder-dry political subject - the row between Graham Berry's Liberal government and the Legislative Council. Clarke's text, which adheres fairly closely to the English play in all but the local detail, contains explicit and controversial references to Melbourne politics, personalities and issues, was not surprisingly banned in Melbourne by the government censor.
The story begins with reports being brought to Fairyland from Melbourne which indicate that Victoria must be the Eldorado as claimed in the press. The fairies send Victoria three of their most popular 'statesmen' to teach the government the principles of 'Popular Government.' The fairy statesmen form into government and opposition and examine the former's suitability for office by distributing portfolios to the most venal and incompetent. The opposition grow discontented and determine to strike a blow for liberty. In the end the Fairies decide that Popular Government is too expensive a luxury.
[Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive]Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
'Carrie lives alone on her impoverished river-flats farm. Isolated and forgotten by the world, she relies on the company of the birds and trees. With her parents long gone, and her neighbour's constant excuses not to visit her, she ekes out an existence from her old orange grove tree.
'But her solitude is shattered when David, a dark, handsome stranger appears, resembling her past lover. While David draws up his proposal for the development of a new road and bridge, Carrie's grip on reality begins to slide as she mixes recollection of a past betrayal with David's new one – the possible resumption of her land.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Playlab).Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2013
'Worlds collide when the proprietors of a stately English home generously invite two wounded soldiers to recuperate within their walls. But these aren't just any soldiers - these are ANZACs. Echoes of their bravery on the beaches of Turkey have traveled throughout Europe and have lead Bill Gash and Jim Blake right into the heart of the British upper-class, and while they may not be prepared for the Lords, Ladies, titles and servants - the English aristocracy are certainly not prepared for two blokes from the Merrawinia Cattle Station' (Playlab Vintage Press edition).Brisbane : Playlab , 2013
Set in the northern Queensland town of Charters Towers the action takes place over one day in 1957 - the day on which the world's first artificial satellite (the Sputnik) and a symbol of the possibilities of the future is to be seen in the sky over the town. It is also the day during which most of the characters will have to deal with significant and sometimes painful change. The main character, Clivvy, is thirty seven years old and is battling with the past and her inability to leave the town. Having won a sponsorship to go overseas to study piano at age nineteen the war intervened. In the following years many other occurrences deny her a life of her own. It is, however, her sense of being a composer - with her music coming 'out of the underbrush' which gives her the strength she needs.Fortitude Valley : Playlab , 2019