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“A Day Too Late”

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Tyler, Phil (Australian playwright, electrician, 1949-____), “A Day Too Late,”

a 37-minute drama in English, set at a bench in an English cemetery, England, afternoon, 2001,

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;   © 2001 by Phil Tyler;  •  in Phil Tyler’s A Day Too Late (Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia: The Author, 2001);  •  script/rights available from Phil Tyler, Post Office Box 35, Donnybrook, Western Australia 6239, Australia, e-mail philtyler@hotmail.com, telephone (home) +61 897311828. • Cited by Phil Tyler, via ftp, July 4, 2003; Tyler says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Morris (m), 60, brother of Dorothy; Dorothy (f), 62, sister of Morris.

  §  Synopsis “During the 1940s and 1950s, many young British children were sent overseas for adoption to former British colonies, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia, etc., believing that their parents were dead. As adults, these children started to discover that they had been deceived and had parents and family alive in Britain. Dorothy was one such child. Upon becoming aware of a boy she knew as a child discovering that he had a family in Britain, Dorothy wonders if she, too, had been deceived. Using the services of the Salvation Army, an organisation that assisted migrant children to find their parents, Dorothy discovers that her mother is still alive and that the Salvation Army would forward letters to her mother. After months of waiting for a reply, she receives a letter from a brother, Morris, telling her that her mother is close to death and that she should come to England immediately. Dorothy arrives in England the day after her mother dies, and so never meets her. The play is set at a cemetery after their mother's funeral. Dorothy, longing for the family she has never had, probes Morris for information about her mother and the identity of her father. She discovers the reason her letters were not answered.

  §  Comment “The play’s title derives from Dorothy’s arriving in England the day after her mother dies. This play has one scene, and the only prop needed is a park bench. The play Dorothy arrives in England the day after her mother dies. • Premiered in a single performance at the South West (of Western Australia) Drama Festival, September 23, 2001. The play won the prize for The Most Outstanding and Original Play, and Phil Tyler won the festival’s Best Male Actor for his role as Morris.”

  §  Themes adoption, brother-sister relationship, child migration, family, Salvation Army, World War II.

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