Ellis, Ben (Australian playwright, composer, 1974-____), “Post Felicity,”
a __-minute absurdist satirical comedy in English, set in a hospital, _____,
© 2003 by Ben Ellis;
• in Svetlana in Slingbacks Valentina Levkowicz. Post Felicity / Ben Ellis (Sydney, Australia: Currency Press, 2002), ISBN 0868196746, 99 pp.;
• script/rights available from Currency Press Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 2287, Strawberry Hills, New South Wales 2012, Australia, telephone +61 2 9319 5877, fax +61 2 9319 3649, http://www.currency.com.au, email@example.com.
Kurt Aarons (m), employer; Robert James (m), spouse; Madeleine James (f), spouse.
“Post Felicity opens in a hospital where Robert James (Roger Oakley) learns his daughter Felicity has committed suicide. James finds it hard to register the information; he's a busy man, distracted and stressed. He gets caught up in the trivial incidentals of Felicity's death, when he remembers her suicide at all. The story unfolds in a Kafka-esque style. James, his wife Madeleine (the marvellous Kate Fitzpatrick) and boss Kurt Aarons (DJ Foster) all fail to fully appreciate the situation. James forgets to go to the funeral. He even appears to have forgotten to tell Madeleine that Felicity is dead - or does she keep forgetting it herself? Aarons is impatient that James is still affected by his loss, two days (or is it four, or ten, or thirty?) after the event. Disasters and imagined disasters happen around them, but everyone acts as though they're happening to someone else. The three adults can't engage with these events, becoming distracted instead by decor, dinner, the price of artwork and where the political fire of their 1960s youth has gone. Only the search for a suicide note that might explain Felicity's death has any impact on them at all.
• “The underlying theme is fairly transparent: a scathing look at the baby-boomer generation. Playwright Ben Ellis sees this generation immersed in the superficial - money, position, social conservatism and the right look. As a result, they're hardly aware they've lost happiness ("felicity") and the Brave New World they longed for in the 1960s. It isn't subtle; but the cast is superb, the pace never slackens and there is plenty of humour, sharp observation and acidic commentary. Post Felicity is a delightful piece of absurdist theatre. “—Stage Left Review - Svetlana in Slingbacks / Post Felicity, http://www.stageleft.com.au/svetpost.html, accessed August 20, 2003.
• “. . . [A] portrait of a self-obsessed couple, a fiendish employer, and their bizarre reactions to a tragic event. It is a savage satire of three baby-boomers fighting in a mire of their own waking. Fiercely theatrical, this deeply black comedy has been awarded both the inaugural Malcolm Robertson Prize and The Patrick White Playwright’s Award.”—Australian Plays, http://www.currency.com.au/plays.htm, accessed August 16, 2003.
• “Ben Ellis won the 2001 Malcolm Robertson Award and was co-winner of the 2000 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award for Post Felicity, produced by Playbox in 2002. He was a co-writer for 360 Positions in a One Night Stand, which enjoyed sell-out seasons at both the 2002 Sydney Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Other plays include: Outpatients, Select Committee for Imagining a Certain Maritime Incident, Eclipses and Loading Zone. A member of Sydney Theatre Company’s Blueprints Writers’ Assembly, Ben’s documentary-based play on Australia’s detention of refugees, These People, will appear at Wharf 2 in September 2003. He has taught playwriting students at Swinburne University TAFE and University of Tulsa (USA).”—Falling Petals by Ben Ellis, http://www.ozscript.org/html/collection_no4/coll4_script14.htm, accessed August 20, 2003.
absurdist theatre, baby-boomer generation, death, employer-employee relationship, funeral, Kafka-esque, marriage, suicide, superficiality.