On the eve of the opening of the local war memorial, John Sturdee is planning his speech for what he is sure will be the defining moment of his political career. The only variable capable of foiling his future in parliament is his brother David, a war veteran haunted by his experiences and prone to drunken displays. That night David seeks refuge from his distress with John's wife and son, who show him sympathy and kindness as he grapples with his trauma and, unbeknownst to them, discreetly commits suicide in their lounge room. On discovering David's death Mary is distraught, but John's only thought is of the damage to his career, so bringing out in painful irony the lip-service he has paid to the spirits of dead soldiers, whose benefits he enjoys without counting the tragic cost.
A play in one act.
JOHN STURDEE Master grocer.
MARY STURDEE His wife.
LENNY Their eight years old son.
DAVID STURDEE John Sturdee's brother
1938: Bryant's Playhouse, St Peter's Lane, Darlinghurst, Sydney; 15 October, 19 October.
1938: The Little Theatre, 5 Phillip Street, Sydney; 3 December.
NB: These performances were part of the annual One Act Play Tournament organised by Bryant's Playhouse. Conditions of entry were: that the play had not been published or professionally produced, that only the author's nom-de-plume appeared on the script (but that the author's name, address and penname be enclosed in a sealed envelope which would not be opened until preliminary judging had been completed). The judges of the competition were Mr Frank Clewlow, Miss Beatrice Tildesley, Mr David McNicoll, Mr Alan Baume, and Mr Albert Collins.