Performing The Goat
PERFORMING THE GOAT
A Collection of One Act Plays By Darren R Brealey
Seeing The Funny Side: Trentham Playwright Darren Brealey
Newspaper: The Weekly Times
Dated: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Written by: Genevieve Barlow
Headline: A Laugh At The World's Vanities
Darren Brealey got an early start on the stage - he was six when he first played a teddy bear. But it was through Scouts that he got his real start - at the age of 10 - at St Kilda's Palais Theatre in The Gang Show, a Scouts-run voluntary theatrical movement.
Today the 37-year-old playwright and actor lives in Trentham, about 20km from Kyneton, where as a child he roamed his grandparents' farm and spent "delicious" hours with his mother and four aunts Jessica, Margaret, Kathy and Helen.
"Jessica played the piano while my mother washed and cleaned, " Darren says. "The five girls grew up on Pipers Creek Rd; that's where I got a lot of my craziness from. I love them all to bits."
It's difficult to say whether the Irish influence and strong Protestant background of his grandfather, Kyneton painter Richard Oliver, has fuelled Darren's creative fervour, but for the past 10 years he has written, directed and produced his own plays.
His most recent achievement is the publication of seven-one-act plays in a book titled Performing The Goat. It's an apt title. The main characters are all maddeningly silly, and their creator mostly wants them to make us laugh at ourselves and our vanities. Anyone who knows a bloke who reckons he knows about women, but doesn't really, will enjoy the play The Mechanics, and another play, Champagne Ladies, is a lovely satire on snobbery.
The Scone Amateur Drama Society in NSW is about to stage The Mechanics to raise money for its local Old Court Theatre. Darren has also recently finished a full-length play called Evangeline, based on the life of his great-grandmother, a wealthy piano-playing Englishwoman living in Ireland, who had to flee during the Irish Uprising of 1916 and eventually came to Australia.
She arrived as a single mother with Darren's grandfather, Richard, and settled in Daylesford. Darren has his own website, continues to write plays and would love to see country theatre groups perform his plays.
"They have small casts and simple settings, making them perfect for low-cost productions," he says.
Performing The Goat is published by Athena Press.
Plays included in this collection: