Somewhere Else contains George F. Walker’s own selection of his early plays which matter; which for him have stood the test of time; which represent, as he once said, his “classical veneer.” In them he honed his considerable and unique dramatic talent along “that fine line between the serious and the comic,” in settings outside the North American locales of his work since the 1980s.
Walker’s earliest plays, absurdist dramas reminiscent of Ionesco and Beckett, climaxed with Beyond Mozambique (1974), featuring a B-movie jungle locale populated by a drug-addicted, pederastic priest, a disgraced Mountie, a porn-film starlet and a demonic ex-Nazi doctor whose wife thinks she is Olga in Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Zastrozzi (1977), utilizing all the baroque conventions of Jacobean tragedy, pits its protagonist, a self-styled, Machiavellian “Master of Discipline” against the chaos of the universe in a flurry of dramatic excesses that tend toward elegant self-parody. The Chalmers Award-winning Theatre of the Film Noir (1981), a murder mystery set in wartime Paris, is the culmination of his work in the Humphrey Bogart / Raymond Chandler style, so evident in his trilogy featuring the cynical investigative reporter / private-eye, Tyrone Power. The Governor General’s and Chalmers Award-winning Nothing Sacred (1988), an adaptation of Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons, consolidated his popular reputation outside of Canada to such a degree that the Los Angeles Times declared it “the play of the year.”