y Ladder Game single work   drama  
Alternative title: In My Father's House are Many Ladders
Issue Details: First known date: 1934... 1934 Ladder Game
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A one act, two-hander play dealing with the mysteries of mundane life, Ladder Game is played out on a set comprising three ladders. The unnamed man and woman philosophise about such things men and woman, umbrellas and ladders, while clambouring about the set.

Kester Berwick records that the original stage production (as yet unconfirmed) involved two step ladders, with another, longer, ladder laid across them (thus making an archway). The man sat on top of this, lit by a bright gold-coloured spotlight. Not much else was visible. When the woman joined him on the ladders, with a red umbrella, she was pin-pointed by a red spotlight.




y Philosophies Kester Berwick , Adelaide : ABC Radio , 1940 10094761 1940 single work radio play


  • In his introduction to the manuscript version held in the Fryer Library, Kester Berwick implies that the play was staged by Ab-Intra Studio Theatre. The Fryer Library gives a first known date of ca. 1934. However, no details of such a production have yet been located using Trove. Further to this, Thelma Afford does not mention the play in Dreamers and Visionaries or record it in the list of Ab-Intra productions (pp.193-195).

    If the first known date claimed indicated by the Fryer Library is correct, and it was indeed staged around that time, the authorship should more correctly be credited to Kester Baruch and not Kester Berwick. This is because the author did not begin using his second writing name until 1939.

  • The Fryer Library identifies this play as In My Father's House Are Many Ladders : Ladder Game. The reason for this that the manuscript held within the Hanger Collection of Australian Playscripts has the phrase handwritten in pencil immediately above the typed title Ladder Game.

    The Library's original decision to index this title appears to either follow the rigid rules of indexing (which stipulate that the title page is sacrosanct) and/or was made on the basis of two unsupported assumptions 1) that the handwritten addition is Kester Berwick's and 2) and that it automatically supplants the typed text.

    There is no evidence supporting either of the above assumptions, however. Indeed no weight has been given to the fact that each page in the manuscript carries the title Ladder Game, and that the author's introduction also refers to the work by that same title on several occasions. Given that Berwick could have easily re-typed the cover page if he had decided on a new title, and that Ladder Game is not crossed out, it is feasible that the handwritten addition may be a preliminary quotation. The author also implies that the play was originally staged as Ladder Game.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1934 .
      Extent: One act; 8 l.p.
      (Manuscript) assertion


      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Location: The Hanger Collection of Australian Playscripts
      Local Id: H0124
Last amended 15 Sep 2016 12:11:08
    Powered by Trove