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Source: Mail (Adelaide) 16 January 1932, p.1
Kester Berwick Kester Berwick i(A6604 works by) (birth name: Frank Gale Perkins)
Also writes as: Svetloff ; Kester Baruch
Born: Established: 3 Oct 1903 Adelaide, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 29 Jun 1992 Corfu, Greek islands,
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Male
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Works By

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1 y separately published work icon Sleepy Lagoon Kester Berwick , (Manuscript version)10038836 10038831 single work drama

Sleepy Lagoon's protagonist, nicknamed 'Sealing-Wax', describes his relationship with the lighthouse-keeper Alf. He muses on Alf's life, marriage, and whether he is truly happy. When Alf returns from his yearly trip, Sealing-Wax visits to discover to a vastly different scene. 






1 1 y separately published work icon Head of Orpheus Singing Kester Berwick , London : Angus and Robertson , 1973 Z577949 1973 single work novel

Set on the Greek island of Lesbos, where the author had lived for a number of years, Head of Orpheus Singing tells of the ex-patriot Australian and the simple life of the islanders, to whom the book is dedicated.

In Robert Dessaix's 2001 novel, Corfu : A Novel, his protagonist reflects on Berwick's novel, published some thirty years previous:

It appears to be about a middle-aged Australian widower who comes to Molyvos to teach English, becomes the inseparable friend of a teenage peanut-vendor called Euripides and thenm when Euripides and his weeping mother move to Australia, gets married to a tedius, clinging woman he feels no passion for (a student of his from Australia called Claire – a pretty but watery name) and settles down on Molyvos forever. He has a few ricocheting sorts of encounters with a clutch of other characters – a retired headmistress, the police, assorted foreigners – but basically that seems to be the story. Not for a moment, of course, did I ever think that that was what the book was about, so I quickly read it twice.

Pain certainly drips. Little by little, page by page everyone drops away…. So it's about loss and the kind of inner grace you need to bear it. It's about contentment, even though life's most precious gift – friendship - slowly seeps away. Everyone grows smaller and then disappears. This is the nub of it – friendship in its many guises.

2 That Day of The Speaking Leaves Canberra Road Kester Berwick , 1955 single work drama

The late afternoon is turning into shadow and whisperings. Five people are in a lonely roadhouse in a long avenue of gumtrees.

Three of them—Fred Brooks, his wife and their daughter, Ruby—live at the roadhouse and run it. The other two are motoring- to Canberra. They have called in for refreshment and also because one of them, Mr. Archibald, a politician, is an old friend of Fred Brook’s. Marie- Louise, the French woman who is with Mr. Archibald, has recently come on a visit to Australia because she has links with it through her late brother.

It happens to have been a special day. From Paringa Flat, a nearby township, there drift faintly from time to time snatches of brass-band music, indicating that commemorative celebrations are still going on there. Fred Brooks, who was gassed in the first world-war, is moved by this to believe that he sees his former comrades marching past the roadhouse in the light of the rising moon. He is drawn to go out into the night to join them. This leads to his release which is not only a release for him, but also a release for the others who have been bogged down in old sorrows. Now at last they can move on. And they do!







1 y separately published work icon Becoming an Actor : A Practical Approach with Studies and Exercises Kester Berwick , Adelaide : W.E.A. Press , 1949 10092866 1949 single work non-fiction

An actors manual published for students and others by the Workers' Educational Association of South Australia.

1 Drifters Kester Berwick , 1941 single work short story
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 5 February vol. 62 no. 3182 1941; (p. 5)
1 form y separately published work icon Philosophies Kester Berwick , Adelaide : ABC Radio , 1940 10094761 1940 single work radio play
1 4 y separately published work icon Archway Motif Kester Baruch , Ab-Intra Studio Theatre , 1935 (Manuscript version)9153709 9153703 1935 single work drama

The final play to be staged by Adelaide experimental theatre company Ab-Intra, Archway Motif was inspired by the the white ballroom at St Corantyn, where the work was eventually produced. In Dreamers and Visionaries Thelma Afford recalls:

[Baruch] perceived that the arch had two opposing sides in conflict - 'good and evil, wisdom and folly, etc'. Yet he saw further that 'an Archway is something more than two sides in opposition. It is something of still splendour and poised majesty.' It was with the fuller application of this theme that the play mainly deals. Even in this last production, Baruch made no concession to his audience: 'Half the audience was frankly puzzled as to the meaning of it all, and the other half looked desperately anxious to appear au fait with something they couldn't grasp' (p.71).

The characters included the Old Player (representing the Wisdom of the Ages), Kay (the youthful president of any student movement), Gerda (representing everybody's lost love), The Girl (who 'blazened across each man's path, once like a blazing star'), the Old Gentleman (puzzled and irritated by the youth of the day), and an [unnamed] leader of a conspiracy.












1 y separately published work icon Ladder Game In My Father's House are Many Ladders Kester Baruch , 1934 (Manuscript version)9153466 9153460 1934 single work drama

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 as men and woman, umbrellas and ladders, while clambering 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.




[Author's note.]

About this Play:
Ladder Game was first performed at the Ab-intra Studio, Adelaide, South Australia, about 1934. The setting was merely two step-ladders, with another short, ordinary ladder across them, thus making an archway. The Man sat on top of this, lit by a bright, gold-colored spot-light. Not much else was visible, for the background was entirely of black-hessian curtains. When the Woman joined him on the ladders, and put up her red umbrella, it was pin-pointed by a red spot-light. This gave it a hotly, luminous appearance. The red spot followed them in their "flight" down from the ladders. 

Later, on July 31, 1940, the play was broadcasted by the A.B.C. Station 5 C.L., Adelaide. The title had been changed to "Philosophies." In place of a stage-setting, there had to be sound effects, so these were then written into the script. Also a short introduction with music was given by an Announcer. In this instance, the Announcer was myself. Iris Thomas and I then played the two characters. We had also played the two characters in the original Ab-intra performances.

K.B. [Kester Berwick]
14 April 1981

1 y separately published work icon Judgment Day : A Play in One Act Svetloff , 1933 (Manuscript version)9153378 9153372 1933 single work drama

Written in a slightly absurdist style, Judgment Day plays heavily with the theatre's fourth wall convention. It is essentially a play about a theatre company having no play to present to the audience, and begins as audience members are still being seated.

The Stage Manager: You could find nothing suitable then?

The Director: I could not! Nothing at all! Why dramatists will not supply us with plays which are short and at the same time unusual is beyond my comprehension.

Having observed the Stage Manager adjusting a camera on a tripod outside the leading lady's dressing room, the Director hits on the idea of staging a play in which the audience co-operates, suggesting that this would 'greatly stimulate their interest.' After discussing the merits of audience co-operation and how one accesses when a play is a failure or not, the two men are joined on stage by the leading lady, and a little latter by two women and a young man from within the audience. An on-going theme within the play is the leading lady's attempt to work out a six-letter word from a cross-word puzzle denoting 'a basic impulse.'


THE STAGE MANAGER                   
THE DIRECTOR                        
THE YOUNG MAN                       

1 Timeless Wind Kester Baruch , 1933 single work drama
1 Canzonet i "You are my palace, my autumn and my evening,", Kester Baruch , 1932 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 13 January vol. 53 no. 2709 1932; (p. 5)
1 Lying on the Floor i "To me upon the floor", Kester Baruch , 1932 single work poetry
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 6 January vol. 53 no. 2708 1932; (p. 5)
1 y separately published work icon The Robe of Yama Kester Baruch , 1932 1932 (Manuscript version)9153233 9153226 1932 single work drama

Two Priests meet the spirit of a Fisherman who must accept the wrong he has done by fishing with Cormorants before he can pass on. 






1 form y separately published work icon Woman Song : A Play of Unchanging China Kester Baruch , 1932 (Manuscript version)9152473 9152421 1932 single work radio play

Based on traditional Chinese ‘Rice Sprouting Songs’, Woman Song begins with the end of a Little Maiden’s visit to her brother. Married against her will following the wishes of her deceased parents, she dreads returning to her cruel mother-in-law. Although she begs her Elder Brother to allow her to stay with him, he counsels her to “put up with what Heaven has assigned to [her],” and wait for her life to change as she grows older.

See further down for production details and author's note. 




1 Night of Fulfilment Kester Baruch , 1932 single work drama
1 Sandalwood Tree Kester Baruch , Ab-Intra Studio Theatre , 1932 single work drama

A dramatically-staged poem, 'Sandalwood Tree' was first produced by Ab-Intra Studio Theatre in July 1932 along with two other poems by Kester Baruch ('Iris' and 'The Tragedy of Kay') and a one-act play, The Sister, by English dramatist Gordon Bottomley.

1 Iris Kester Baruch , Ab-Intra Studio Theatre , 1932 single work drama

A dramatically-staged poem, 'Iris' was first produced by Ab-Intra Studio Theatre in July 1932 along with two other poems by Kester Baruch ('The Tragedy of Kay' and 'Sandalwood Tree') and a one-act play, The Sister, by English dramatist Gordon Bottomley.

1 The Tragedy of Kay Kester Baruch , Ab-Intra Studio Theatre , 1932 single work drama

A dramatically-staged poem, 'The Tragedy of Kay' was first produced by Ab-Intra Studio Theatre in July 1932 along with two other poems by Kester Baruch ('Iris' and 'Sandalwood Tree') and a one-act play, The Sister, by English dramatist Gordon Bottomley.

1 1 The Counting Frame Kester Baruch , 1930 single work drama

The story turns 'round the idea that illusions and self deceptions, though unreal, are the beads, on a counting frame by ' which society in a kindergarten is learning a sense of values' ('An Unusual Play,' p.25).