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“Talking in Their Sleep”

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Jones, Mark A. P. (Australian playwright, screenwriter, 1962-____), “Talking in Their Sleep,”

a 30-minute social drama in English, set in the living room of Esther’s house, Victoria, Australia, July, 2004,

1m2f; • © 2004 by Mark A. P. Jones; • in Mark A. P. Jones’ Talking in Their Sleep (Endeavour Hills, Victoria, Australia: The Author, 2003) ; • script/rights available from Mark A. P. Jones. • Cited by Mark A. P. Jones via ftp June 14, 2005; Jones says,

§ Dramatis Personae Bud (m), 20, World War II American marine in dress uniform; Esther (f), 70, mother of Susan; Susan (f), 41, daughter of Esther.

§ Synopsis “At 70, Esther has seen her life undergo a dramatic change. Her husband, Harry, has recently died and her daughter, Susan, has finally left home after forty-one years of living comfortably with the family. Esther is still coming to terms with the sense of abandonment that quickly filled her life. Without Harry to provide direction, she is finding the smallest, most obscure memories from her past dominating her thoughts. Consumed by guilt, her daughter, Susan, returns home to see how her mother is coping and realises that perhaps the time has come for Esther to move into some form of aged-care facility. But Susan’s best intentions are not met with open arms. When Susan leaves amidst disagreement, Esther must face the one memory from the darkest corner of her past.

§ Comment “Esther’s living room has a sofa covered in old newspapers centre stage facing the audience. A small coffee table stands in front of the sofa; it holds an old photo album. • ‘Talking in Their Sleep’ investigates the process of involuntary memory recall, sometimes experienced as part of the aging process. What does it mean for someone who has managed to suppress their worst nightmare for an entire lifetime only to have to face it one last time? • 'Talking In Their Sleep' was shortlisted for the Glen Eira Literary awards in 2004 and enjoyed its premier season at Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne, Australia, 2004. This challenging play treats the sensitive issues of rape during war and elderly suicide. The stage setting must stay as clean and simple as possible. The action divides into two distinct areas—the relationship between a mother and her daughter and the involuntary recall of suppressed memories that are enacted. It is a sensitive production that incorporates the use of poetry as a trigger to accessing locked memories. • This is Mark Jones' 2nd one-act play following the successful 'I Give You My Word' in 2003.”

§ Themes aging, elderly suicide, memory, mother-daughter relationship, obsession, rape, secrecy, suppressed memory, war, war recollection.



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Page mounted June 27, 2005, and updated August 1, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

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