Synopses A-Z

 denotes a competition/festival-winning play;
to check out the Award Page, click here

ONE ACT PLAYS

The Butterflies Are Sleeping (2F)
If the prairies of Kansas could tell a tale, it would be of what happened to the Gault sisters, in their house on a hill in a sea of grass…

Cleanskin (2F)
Chronic gambler Erica Banks, mother of three, meets marketing executive, Melanie Crain, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception.  To say it’s a meeting of opposites is an understatement, but what makes it unforgettable is that Melanie thinks God is turning her into an angel—and she has a message for Erica…

Daveena Clark’s Revenge (8F, 4M) 
Daveena Clark is the scariest girl in school.  Her club, the Revenge Club, carries out all the revenges that need to be carried out at school, but when Rebecca Elliott decides she’s bored and looks to humiliate Daveena—look out.  Daveena Clark unleashes her own revenge on those who made her look small in front of the whole school…

Dig (2M) 
We all have our personal demons, but actor Douglas King has only one: it’s called Dig, and it visits him on the eve of his last ever performance as King Lear.  Dig has come to torment Douglas, but even one very persistent and scathing demon who brings to light some shocking home truths will not be enough to stop Douglas going out and performing one last time — even if it means paying for that with his very life…

Double Tap (2M, 1F) 
Crawford and Dolman are two young men about to graduate from assassin school. Before they graduate, there remains one last assignment, a pass or fail assignment designed to finally put their newly acquired skills to the test.  Can they do it?  Do they want to do it?  And more importantly, will they pass?

Dreams of Justine (1M, 3F)
What would happen if the girl of your dreams showed up on your doorstep?  Gary Clark is about to find out.  Having dreamt for weeks of Justine, an ex girlfriend from years ago, here she is magically appearing in his living room.  The only trouble is, he won’t be alone.  His girlfriend Belinda is there, as well as his analytical psychologist friend, Sian.  What starts out as a nice dinner party winds up being a crazy exploration of one young man’s journey to find true love in the new millennium.

Fig Jam (1M, 1F) 
Jason Starbay, a middle-aged Australian rock ‘n’ roll singer who is nearly a has-been, has come to the end of a tour through the Czech Republic.  (His band, the Stunned Mullets, first toured Czechoslovakia nearly 20 years ago.)  Natalia is a young Czech girl determined to uncover a past she fears might shadow her future.  They cross paths in a run-down hotel in Prague, the morning after one of Jason’s concerts, and on this morning after the night before Jason is not ready to hear that he is Natalia’s father…

Floating (2F, 1M)
After the death of her mother, Liz, Jenny feels compelled to take her mother’s ashes down to the family beach house.  Jenny doesn’t know what to do with the ashes, but being in the house helps her invoke a number of important scenes between her mother and Brian, her mother’s boyfriend.  Through these scenes Jenny confronts her mother’s past, and comes to understand and accept what her mother was like.  Finally she also realises what her mother must have wanted done with the ashes.

Footsteps in the River (1F, 2M) 
Daniel and Sarah are an older married couple whose only child, Jack, died in a backyard pool accident.  A year after his death, they find themselves finally travelling to Greece, hoping to escape the pain of their loss.  Although Sarah has reached the point where she feels she can embrace life again, Daniel is still locked into a grief that will not let him go, and threatens his very life.

The Glenfiddich Solution (1F, 1M)
Just when you thought a crate of Glenfiddich would see you off quietly in your Gold Coast apartment, Glenda the cleaning woman has other ideas.

Heide’s Last Hit (3f, 1M) 
After years in the assassin business Heide has decided to retire.  She drags home her latest target, Thomas, the only trouble being that Thomas isn’t quite dead.  With the addition of Clare, the woman who ordered the hit, and Danielle, Heide’s housemate, the stage is set for a mad ride around questions of love, honesty, and how to quilt.

An upside-down look at life in one of the few businesses that really is a dead end.  If you can imagine The Importance of Being Earnest meeting La Femme Nikita you might begin to get an idea of where Heide’s Last Hit is coming from.

Ice (2F)
Diane and Sarah are a pair of petty crooks who may just have hit the big time in robbing Julio Sandini of a collection of uncut diamonds.  Back at their appointed rendezvous after the heist all is not what it seems, of course.  Each woman wants the diamonds for different reasons, and it’s these reasons that just might spell their demise.

I Hate ABBA (3F) 
After suffering a concussion at a music festival, Maddie O’Reilly is being looked after by her daughters, Daina and Jill.  However, Maddie feels she must confess to Daina that her daughter is the result of an encounter with Benny Anderson from ABBA when the group toured Australia in 1977.  Daina is not convinced.  Is this the result of her mother’s concussion or did Daina really spring from the loins of a groupie’s passion?

Joyrider (6F, 3M)
After dying in a joyriding accident, Natalie Johnson is met by two angels, Bob and Don, who have instructions to offer her a second chance at life.  However, what that involves is understanding what led her to die in the first place.  The answer is tied up in examining the lives of those around her when she died in the car, but after moving from Rebecca, to Lucas, to Penny and even her sister Danielle, she finally realises that she herself is the problem she must confront…

Kill Inc. (2M, 1F)
The sequel to Double Tap sees Crawford going professional – the Guild of Assassins comes calling, and a past that Crawford thought he had put behind him comes back with a vengeance he never saw coming, just at a time when he was beginning to question what it means to be an assassin.

The People of the Paparazzi (1F, 2M) 
You know you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the tabloids, and this is why.  Clare and Paul are two young actors who at the request of their agents fake a “secret” getaway to help drum up interest in their latest film.  Barely one step ahead of the paparazzi, they hole up in a hotel to complete their performance, but all is not what it seems.  Someone wants to change the role assigned them.

Persistent Offenders (ensemble) 
Theatre. The very word inspires shock, revulsion, bemusement and despair. Watch and find out why.  The award-winning one-act play from the Pop Culture Theatre stable especially written as an ensemble festival piece.

Playset (4M, 3F)
Gary’s just you’re ordinary businessman done well.  So how does he come to be trussed up to the play equipment in his own backyard on the occasion of a family barbecue?  And more importantly, who will let him go?  His wife?  His mother?  His business partner?  His business partner’s wife?  His business rival?  His kids—the ones who actually tied him up?  All will be revealed as a storm looms and Gary learns the hard truth of what it takes to play the games that fathers and sons play.

The Last Dance of the Plum Sisters (2F, 1M) 
Felicia and Prudence Plum wake up in the tower nursery of their outback station house to find themselves chained together.  Who has done this and why?  And what of the dance to be held at their house?  Will they get a chance to dance with the most eligible bachelor in the district, Harry Prince, or will that honour fall to their stepsister, Cindy?  And what of their father, Jasper Plum?  Will his arrival save them or will the sisters be locked in the tower room forever?

Skin (1F, 1M)
They say truth is the first casualty of war. Charles Beach is about to prove it’s so.

The Sorry Man (2M)
When Aboriginal social worker, Darrel, and station owner, John, meet in the middle of John’s property, it soon becomes clear that both are there to mourn the death of John’s 21 year-old daughter, Jacinta.  However, in trying to overcome the pain they both feel, both men will have to give up customs and habits they’ve used for years to define who they are.

The Perfect Moment (1M, 1F)
Ever wish for that perfect moment, when it would be safe to tell someone you loved them and they’d say they loved you back?  Nicholas Durham, a school teacher in his 30s, sets out to find and re-imagine those “perfect moments” in the past 15 years when he should have told his friend Jo Surrey that he loved her.  However, just as he begins his journey Jo appears, and what started as one man’s search for the perfect moment becomes a journey two people take down a road they never took.

A cheeky drama about a man, his unrequited love, and the truth that got in the way.

Son of the Revolution (1M, 1F) 
In an unnamed South American country that has just emerged from a tumultuous revolution, Colonel Roberto Elian breakfasts in the dining room of his mountaintop hacienda.  The only thing that could ruin his mood is the arrival of Isabel Cordoba, a former lover and now a member of the Human Rights Commission that he has been summonsed to testify before in the coming week.  Elian, a member of the élite intelligence unit that oversaw the worst atrocities of the previous regime, thinks he knows why Isabel is there, but her true reasons are much more shocking….

Two Men & a Wheelbarrow (2F)
Jim and Darren are in Hell.  Jim is resigned to his fate, but Darren persists in believing they are in fact only in Limbo, awaiting Orders of Ascension to go up to Heaven.  Of course, they hate each other with a passion.  However, on this particular day, they have metamorphosed into women, but even as women we soon discover why they are where they are.

Two Women and a Chair (2F) 
Two actors, Jessie and Martine, arrive at an audition to discover only  a bare room with a mysterious black chair.  The only instructions on what they should do are contained on the flyer advertising the play, and it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary audition—or is it an audition at all?  Will they obey the cryptic instructions?  What of Damian, the director?  Is this all a plot to get back at Martine, or is there something more?  The answers, as always, lie in the choices Jessie and Martine are about to make.

Waiting for Doggett (2F)
Sheila is the alcoholic, love-sick owner-manager of the run-down Jasper’s Reach Motel and Caravan Park, “somewhere north of the Nullarbor.”  Daphne is a hired killer waiting for the arrival of her mark, a trucker by the name of John Doggett.  The stage is soon set for a love-kill triangle between two women and the man that one wants to kill and the other is in love with—or is it…?

The Queen of Dreams (6F, 3M)
Peta has asked a number of friends over for a sleepover.  Wendy and Michaela are the only two who have arrived, and they don’t like it.  However, unknown to them, the Queen of Dreams plots for one of them to sacrifice themselves so the Kingdom of Dreams can continue to exist…

In a world where true friendship is a special thing, Peta, Wendy and Michaela find themselves in another world where they will discover if they are friends after all.

The Ghost Funeral (9F, 9M)
After the crash of Flight 86 from Perth, Jessica winds up as personal assistant to Ivan Drazool, the ruler of the ghost dimension.  Unfortunately, the amnesia she suffered in the plane crash has carried over, so she has no memory of who she was before she became a ghost.  Life with Drazool isn’t too bad, but his plans to build an army to break down the walls between the ghost dimension and the real world involve wreaking death and destruction in order to recruit the souls of the dead.  Luckily, for some reason, Drazool’s plans usually fail.  In their latest foray, however, the ghosts successfully gather Sarah, who turns out to be Jessica’s sister.  Can Drazool be stopped in time, or will the barriers that separate our two worlds be breached forever?

MONOLOGUES

A Retiring Lady (1F)
After many years, Cynthia is retiring.  She’s been a Tupperware Manager for 20 years, but that, apparently, is just a cover.  She has, in fact, been an assassin, working all over the country, well paid for the past twenty years to eliminate the targets of wealthy clients.  Not even her husband, Frank, knows what she really does.  But like all good things it must have an end, and according to one of the 9 Rules of Assassination, there’s only one way to leave the Organisation…

Circle of Angels (1M)
How do you say “I love you” when it’s too late?  How do you recapture a past you never thought would end?  After three years George Cooper has finally been forced to remove the little home-made wooden and cotton angels he sells in the Outpatients Department of the Northern Hospital.  They are the only thing that connected him to his late wife, Nancy, and a life he took for granted.  Today, however, George is forced to make a choice about whether to go on alone, or try and connect with Nancy one last time…

Ragout (1M)
What if you knew you had twenty minutes to live?  What would you do?  What would you think?  Aaron Johnson is about to find out when he discovers that something poisonous was put into his ragout…

Room Service (1F)
Betty Butterworth has lived and worked in the Crown Royale Hotel all her life.  Through her work as a maid she has developed an intimate connection with the guests whose rooms she cleans and makes up.  Now, however, with the arrival of the occupant in Room 1521 Betty believes that everything will change.  The occupant of Room 1521 might very well be Betty’s long lost daughter, a daughter she gave up at birth—or is this the end of a life filled with a lonely imagination and a room 7 metres squared?

FULL LENGTH PLAYS

Cannibals of the Heart (5M, 5F)
Betrayal—that most intimate of human pains.
Betrayal—that most unexpected of injuries.
Betrayal—that personal pain usually suffered at the hands of those closest to us.
Why does it happen? And how do we handle it? How do we cope with the cannibals of the heart who have eaten away our trust, our love, and our respect? The range of betrayals is large, the colours of the enemy many and varied, and the solutions just as diverse. Strap yourselves in for a journey into the darker corners of the human heart.

SeaLevel (3M, 3F)
When Felix seeks to escape to the family beachhouse, he soon learns he can’t escape his past, as old friends and lovers descend on him one by one, some welcome, some not. No matter what happens as they all pick over their relationships, one thing is certain: everything tastes different at sealevel.

The Jasmine Suite (1M, 1F)
A game without rules.
A woman with a past.
A man with no future.
Welcome to the Jasmine Suite.

Threads (3M, 3F)
Melinda, Bree, Paul and Nathan live a communal lifestyle in a Melbourne inner city terrace. After tossing out Jim they look around for a new co-inhabitant and find one in the form of Alex, a music student from the country. Alex seems to fit into the group’s self image, but very quickly becomes a force that none of them can handle. Alex’s behaviour grows increasingly eccentric and undermines the stability of the household. When the group finally confronts Alex, it is the truth Alex reveals that leads to the question: who is crazier—Alex or the household?

SHORT PLAYS

A Dog’s Life (1M, 2F)
Keith is the only talking man in a world run by women. You might think that’s great for Keith, but the reality for Keith and his wife, Rebecca, is something quite different.

Baby Brain (2F, 1M)
Ben has had a breakdown and reverted to behaving like a two- year old. His wife Sara is at the end of her tether and has contacted Dr Brown, an eminent child therapist, for help. The only trouble is, how infectious is baby brain?

Backstage (1F, 2M)
Marcus is the kind of actor who will do whatever it takes to put himself centre stage—including writing and directing himself a piece called St Joan & the Soldier. Only he didn’t count on Alice, his co-star, nor the stage manager, Berne. They say that all good things come to he who waits—and sometimes, bad things come too.

Love Lust & Sodomy in the Garden of Earthly Delights (4M, 4F)
Watch what happens when this audience watches a startling new theatre production.

Purge (2M, 1F)
How much would you pay for a great purge? Dennis is about to find out, but not in the way he expected…

The Bed Method (1M, 2F)
Some shows are never meant to happen, and this production of Romeo and Juliet is one of them. When it came to directing actors like Derrick and Miracy, Audrey had a radical plan to “unblock” them, but now she realises that nothing and no-one can save the show from the tyranny of the actors she has cast.

The Little Black Book (2M, 2F)
When one little black book has all your secrets, you better not lose it!

The Magenta Revenge (2M) 
When a stranger arrives at Gary’s flat, Gary doesn’t know what he wants. But it soon becomes clear that Gary’s girlfriend, Natalie, knows exactly what she wants.