Soon, I'll write something more coherent about this play, but now I'm focused on phase one -- mad research.
I'm trying to look into as many different angles as possible, before I head out and start conducting the interviews that will make up the text of the play. Thematically, I'm interested in connections and contradictions. There are plenty of both so far. But some of the connections and coincidences I've found in the last few days have been so exciting I told my wise mentor Colette that I'm tempted to create my very own serial killer-esque photo wall and connect common threads with a spider web of red wool.
It's, yes, a story of murder and mystery--but also of communities in turmoil, poverty, fascism, mobsters, planes, trains and automobiles. Beyond that it's a story of broken women: flappers, hookers, drunks and runaways.
This was the era of Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh, but Darlinghurst was a very long way from Albury NSW, although Big Bill Mackay is a key character here too, managing to apparently solve the Pyjama Girl murder, all while enjoying a free lunch from his favourite little Italian place. If you believe the statement of confession, all it took was for the hulking Irishman to ask the diminutive Italian waiter -- 'Why so glum Tony?' And after 10 years, Antonio Agostino uncorked as easily as a bottle of Lambrusco.
But was that really the end of the story? And as for the beginnings... well, that's where I am right now.