Summer Wonderland by Matthew Ryan (2017 Edition Digital Download)
Welcome to Dickens Court, where a Christmas lights competition has the neighbourhood at war! Old-fashioned battler Bob has just lost his job, his neighbour Eugene is in serious debt after the arrival of his mail-order bride, and the snobs across the road are desperate to buy a beachfront apartment. When they discover the grand prize in the Christmas Lights competition could solve their money problems, it means war!
A hilarious Christmas comedy about fake snow, fairy lights, and the great Australian Dream.
Summer Wonderland began its life back in 2006. After a meeting at La Boite Theatre Company, I was trying to come up with an idea that would meet their request — “Bring new audiences to La Boite.”
It was a trip out to see the annual Christmas lights that gave me the answer. Street after street of houses, covered in lights and decorations, celebrating a time of year when we let magic take over for a while. But there was something else. Owners would sit in chairs on their driveway, or cook sausage sizzles on their lawn. They would watch the smiling crowds walk by, looking for a response to their creation. Here, deep in the suburbs, an artistic exchange was taking place. Here the very idea of home was art.
The La Boite production was a huge success, extending its season to meet demand. But it was what happened afterward that surprised me the most. Requests started coming in from community theatres across Australia and New Zealand to perform the play. A play that spoke to their own sense of place. Their own experiences. Their own homes.
Summer Wonderland was first produced by La Boite Theatre Company on 9 October 2007.
"Summer Wonderland has changed a lot over the years. Like a person, a play gathers a better sense of itself over time. I’ve made cuts and strengthened journeys. But always in the spirit of the original idea — that no matter who we are or where we’re from, we’re all in some way going home.
— Matthew Ryan
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