BY ALAN FRANKS
6 April 2005 — 30 April 2005
Previous Convictions is an intriguing and topical new play by local writer, Alan Franks.
Auriol Smith and Octavia Walters take the roles of mother and daughter in this family drama. The story, which starts as a domestic mystery, rapidly deepens into a drama of political and emotional fall-out within a respectable family. When idealistic aid worker Tony (Michael Shaw) comes back to England after nearly 20 years in South America, he finds a country altered beyond recognition. His sister (Auriol Smith) is mourning the death of their mother, struggling with an angry daughter (Octavia Walters) and coping with a marriage foundering on her husband’s depression. As brother and sister become reacquainted they find themselves renewing an old conflict about the origins of their family’s prosperity. The pain of opening old wounds as the dust sheets are lifted and the surprise return of a disowned brother bring them together, if only for a moment.
Alan Franks is a writer for The Times Magazine, the author of an award-winning novella, Going Over, and a regular performer of his own songs and poems. His previous plays include The Edge of the Land and The Mother Tongue.