Kate Mulvany adapts novelist Ruth Park’s Australian trilogy – Missus, The Harp in the South and Poor Man’s Orange – into two stand-alone plays that together make for a moving family saga.
First appearing in 1947, Ruth Park’s trilogy traces the lives of the Darcy family over the course of 30 years. Living at twelve-and-a-half Plymouth Street, Surry Hills, they grow up and grow old amidst brothels and sly grog, the pious and the violent, the opportunists and the desperate.
The Darcy family saga begins with a love story in 1920 in a dusty, rural NSW town when young Margaret Kilker falls for Hugh Darcy. Newly married and in search of a brighter future, they move to Sydney’s Surry Hills, where they find a home on Plymouth Street and start a family. In the shadow of the Second World War, their daughters Roie and Dolour set out on their own adventures in the crowded, boisterous streets of Sydney.
The story continues amidst the changing world of Sydney in the 1950s. The shadow of the war lingers, but there is a new danger on the horizon. The homes of Surry Hills’ poor are threatened by government plans for redevelopment. Together, this community of workers, rebels and misfits rise up and fight back, with their voices and with their fists.
Kip Williams directs a cast that includes Luke Carroll, Tony Cogin, Jack Finsterer, Lucia Mastrantone, Heather Mitchell, Tara Morice, Rose Riley, Guy Simon, Bruce Spence and Helen Thomson.