Plays about Mansfield

Kevin Boon KM Plays

Kevin Boon has written widely on Katherine Mansfield.  He notes that these play adaptations of 'The Garden Party' and 'At the Bay' can be performed as individual one-act plays or together, using the same cast to form a complete evening's entertainment.

For further information on these plays, please contact Kevin via the KMS: kms@katherinemansfieldsociety.org and we will forward all emails to him.

So Much Remains

Allan Bates taught playwriting classes at Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago)-a Tony Award winning theatre-for 8 years. He was a Playwright-in-Residence at Raven Theatre (Chicago) for 6 years, and Director of Creative Writing Program, Northeastern Illinois University, for 26 years. For more information, including selected productions and letters of professional recommendation, please go to www.allanbates.com

So Much Remains weaves adaptations of seven of Katherine Mansfield's short stories into a biographical drama of her life. Mansfield addresses the audience directly, plays mini-scenes depicting key moments of her life, and, because much of her writing was semi-autobiographical, plays roles in some of the adapted stories.

The play begins with her in good health and creative vigor and follows her as her health deteriorates from gonorrhea and tuberculosis, leading to her death at thirty-four. Her real struggle, in which she succeeds heroically and often with very good humor, is to retain her creative force.

Other characters are her husband, John Middleton Murry, her mother, father, grandmother, brother Chummie, and assorted characters from her stories. The actress playing Katherine remains Katherine throughout; four men and four women can play all the other roles, though other actors may easily be included if desired.

Simple set pieces are changed by the actors on a bare stage to fit the various scenes.

A single cello frequently sets the mood or comments on the scenes; at times, Mansfield, who was an accomplished cello player, relates to the cello as to another character.

The Garden Party, Kevin Boon

Kevin Boon has very kindly made available to Society members his dramatisation of ‘The Garden Party’. The Eastbourne Drama Group recently staged a production of this adaptation, directed by John Marwick (who has previously directed and performed at the 'Old Vic'). For further information on the play, please contact Kevin via the KMS: kms@katherinemansfieldsociety.org and we will forward all emails to him.

On The Rocks

On the Rocks is Amy Rosenthal’s brilliantly funny  play based on the episode in 1916 where Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry spent a few fraught weeks in Cornwall with D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda. It was a triumphant success at the Hampstead Theatre in London in 2008 and was performed at the Court Theatre, Christchurch, NZ, 17 June – 17 July 2010.  Read KMS member Melissa C. Reimer’s wonderful review and detailed interview with the cast.

View Court Theatre 2010 Production Poster

The Dazzling Night

The Dazzling Night is an unusual play about Katherine Mansfield, by Rachel McAlpine, Rachel is a novelist, poet, playwright, and author of about 30 books. From 1993-1995 she was Guest Professor at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, Japan. There she learned to love the ritualistic, meditative, alien beauty of Noh theatre, and also met many Katherine Mansfield devotees. Writing The Dazzling Night, a Noh play about Katherine Mansfield, was the inevitable result. The play has had one successful production in Auckland. For information about other aspects of Rachel's life, see www.writing.co.nz.