Mary Anne Butler’s award winning play Broken (2016) advances by way of short, sharp sentences, just a few words per line. It crosses 37 pages and includes minimal spoken dialogue. There are no stage directions. Instead active verbs cross the boundaries of interior monologue, narration and setting – leaving the reader to wonder whether a character said or did what he or she was thinking. The effects are imaginary images appearing behind or before real actions on stage. Short phrases orchestrate a poetic rhythm and lyricism to Butler’s work, yet there is much that remains unsaid and, ultimately unrealised in the lives of Ash, Ham and Mia. The lives of this trio intersect as cyclical continuums looped by two tragic events: Ash’s car crash on Namatjira Drive at the beginning of the play and Mia’s miscarriages and still-birth at its end. Ham is at the centre of this circle of destructive love, pivoting between Ash and Mia’s material and imaginary worlds. The fragments that structure Broken point to the ways in which the three character’s lives are, and will remain, broken.
|Publisher||Sydney Review of Books|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Sept 2016|
|Name||Sydney Review of Books|