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Delphiniums single work   drama   - One act
Issue Details: First known date: 1943... 1943 Delphiniums
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

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)


Characters

QUEENIE BURTON

ED BURTON

MRS CORBY

GLADDIE (MRS HARPER)

MR WEBSTER

Exhibitions

12556921

Production Details

    • First produced as a part of ‘Play Parade’ at the Playhouse by Hobart Repertory Theatre Society, 11 September 1943. Directed by Shepherd.
    • Also at the Ipswich Civic Hall, Ipswich, Qld, as part of the Ipswich One-act Play Festival by the Ipswich Cornish Players Productions Company, 22 September 1964.
    • Followed by a production at the Albert Hall Brisbane as part of the Warana Festival done by the Ipswich Cornish Players Production Company, 29 September 1964.
    • The play was produced at the Drama Theatre, Monash University, Clayton, Vic., 28 September - 2 October 1995.
    • In 2018, Delphiniums was produced at The University of Queensland under the directorship of Sue Rider by students taking the Live Theatre Production course. It was produced with Kester Berwick's Judgment Day : A Play in One Act

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1943

Works about this Work

Five Plays by Women Therese Radic , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 179 1996; (p. 52-53)

— Review of The Gap Anna Broinowski , 1995 single work drama ; Feet of Clay Betty Roland , 1928 single work drama ; The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife Mary E. Wilkinson , 1922 single work drama ; Delphiniums Catherine Shepherd , 1943 single work drama ; Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women Catherine Shepherd , Mary E. Wilkinson , Betty Roland , 1995 selected work drama ; The History of Water Noëlle Janaczewska , 1995 single work drama
At the Edge Robert Jarman , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: Island , Spring no. 68 1996; (p. 54-61)
Repertory Theatre in Australia : Introduction to Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women Kerry Kilner , 1995 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women 1995; (p. v-xvii)
Five Plays by Women Therese Radic , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 179 1996; (p. 52-53)

— Review of The Gap Anna Broinowski , 1995 single work drama ; Feet of Clay Betty Roland , 1928 single work drama ; The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife Mary E. Wilkinson , 1922 single work drama ; Delphiniums Catherine Shepherd , 1943 single work drama ; Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women Catherine Shepherd , Mary E. Wilkinson , Betty Roland , 1995 selected work drama ; The History of Water Noëlle Janaczewska , 1995 single work drama
Repertory Theatre in Australia : Introduction to Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women Kerry Kilner , 1995 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Playing the Past : Three Plays by Australian Women 1995; (p. v-xvii)
At the Edge Robert Jarman , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: Island , Spring no. 68 1996; (p. 54-61)
Last amended 26 Feb 2018 10:12:45
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