Mary and the Murderer – One Year On

For reasons that are still somewhat unclear to me, last year I decided to put on a play. With the help of some wonderful people, we managed to pull it off. It was fun! And difficult! But, as I’m sure all my creative friends would agree, *not* trying to achieve the seemingly impossible project is *always* more disappointing than just giving it a go. Our endeavour was even more satisfying because it turned out reasonably well.

The chief drawcard was that the audience got to decide the play’s ending. Essentially, it’s the Wild West, this guy’s been accused of murder, but some doubts remain. You got to hear his story and decide whether he should be killed too, or let free. It was a gimmick for sure, but it was entertaining. Or at least, it was supposed to be.  

And four times out of six he was let go! Some people told me they were convinced he was a murderer, but they didn’t want to kill him. Others seemed put off by our forthright ‘prosecutor’ Mary, the local female (!) gunslinger. Other people answered ‘kill’ straight away with no deliberation. If I was smart I could make some grand statement about what our faux-psychological experiment means about the world. Unfortunately, I am not.

So, one year on, thanks for everyone who came along and supported us last year. I always get a thrill when people read my words aloud and it’s even more exciting when people get to see it.

And, of course, I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful team in these picture. Thank you! (Photographer’s curse strikes again, I’m behind the camera).

Miscellaneous notes:

• After the final show, our cast and crew had exactly one drink at UQ’s Red Room before it closed for the night (a uni bar closing at 10PM on a Friday night???). As we left, a drunkard followed some of us out and tried to pick a fight. Security was called, the guy legged it, it was very messy. Anyway, further proof UQ is inferior to QUT I suppose. (For the record, I could have taken him).

• When we got my car, I found I had a flat tyre. It was the perfect end to the busiest two weeks of the year.

• We slightly reworked the script and were going to run it again but money/work got in the way. In the current climate I think little theatre shows are not high on anyone’s priority list but maybe one day we’ll get it going again. The reworked script is even better.

• I have been writing more scripts featuring Mary. Ya’ll ever wondered how Mary wandered into Duhig Gardens in the first place? How she killed all them McLintock boys? What all the hoo-ha at the orphanage was about? Well, perhaps one day you’ll find out. At the very least it entertains me.

• Another drunkard stole a “Welcome to Duhig Gardens” sign we had made. Again, you wouldn’t see this nonsense at Kelvin Grove or Gardens Point.

• On our opening night, a reviewer spoke to us all at length and took lots of photos and was outwardly quite enamoured with our performance. Afterwards he told one of us that before the final moments his heart was pounding. And then he never wrote the review! Or at least I could never find it online. I assume he could just never find the words to truly capture his experience.

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