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Wednesday January 11, 2017 in Books
As in Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, two brothers struggle for power and ideals each believes are right. Set in the late nineteenth century in a coastal town in Norway, Enemy charts the journey of an idealistic and naive doctor who believes people will behave responsibly if given the facts, shown leadership, and pointed in the right direction. Instead, he discovers that, as individuals, we come with our own baggage, secrets, and self-interest that often defy and divert lofty goals. Ibsen explores the whole messy idea of democracy and how things change. Or don’t.
Messenger takes place in another country, Canada, and in another century but tackles similar themes. It is a memory play, set both in the present day and in 1990, when the Progressive Conservative government of the day, contrary to the public record, in fact set lofty goals of joining – if not leading – the world in tackling climate change. The mechanism by which that goal was lost is played out primarily between two brothers. One brother, Peter, is the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, who wants to maintain political control and has many players and interests to juggle to keep his Prime Minister in office. The other brother, Thomas, is an idealist, a newly minted Cabinet minister who tries to show leadership and tell the truth about impending environmental crises and get the whole country on board with the rightness of his vision. The stakes are raised when strong family loyalties are tested by the crisis that ensues when Thomas refuses to back down from what he knows is right. A timely play in terms of environmental issues, full of lots of great political dirty tricks.
Cast of 3 men and 1 woman.
ISBN 13: 9781772011524 | ISBN 10: N/A
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 136pp pages
$18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
Drama | Backlist
About the ContributorsWendy Lill
Wendy Lill has not only written extensively for radio, magazines, film, television and the stage, but has also been active in national politics. In 1979, while with CBC Radio in Winnipeg, Lill wrote her first play, On the Line, to dramatize the plight of striking Winnipeg garment industry workers. Since then, her plays have gone on to examine the Canadian women’s suffrage movement (The Fighting Days); aboriginal-white relations (The Occupation of Heather Rose, Sisters); pedophilia and mass hysteria (All Fall Down); the slashing of social programs (Corker); and the dangerous lives of coal miners in her adopted province of Nova Scotia (The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum).
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.