Ken Duncum

Plays 1: Small Towns and Sea

ISBN: 9780864734945

Paperback, 159 x 210mm
268 pages

Published 2005

Most of our myths are ‘true stories’. They fascinate us because they are us. Award-winning playwright Ken Duncum tackles three of the biggies.

A hypothetical meeting between the novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson and the poet James K. Baxter in Hawera in 1972. Death approaches as the novelist and the poet share the stage with the rear end of a horse.

Four men confront the elements, each other and themselves, during 119 days adrift in the overturned Rose-Noëlle.

Trick of the Light 
Two generations, and the long shadow of the Crewe murders. A brother and sister brings their mother’s ashes to a motel room that hasn’t been opened for three decades.

Small Towns and Sea is a collection of three extremely good plays, but more than that too. Presented together, these three scripts become a social commentary in and of itself, a poignant examination of how New Zealand's collective consciousness is structured.’
—Emily Brauntstein, Salient

Ken Duncum grew up in Rotorua and has been writing for theatre and television for over twenty years and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading playwrights. His many plays include Blue Sky Boys (Best New Zealand Play 1990), Flipside (Chapman Tripp Award for Production of the Year 2000), Trick of the Light and Cherish (Chapman Tripp Awards for Best New New Zealand Play 2002 and 2003). He has also written scripts for major television shows like Duggan and Coverstory (Best Script, TV Drama, Film and TV Awards 1997), and is the Michael Hirschfeld Director of Scriptwriting at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. In 2010 he held the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, France.


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