Theatre / Inheritance
is an acclaimed 2003 Australian theatrical production by Hannie Rayson. The play introduces us to a large, extended family made up of senile patriarch Farley Hamilton; his wife, Dibs; their children William and Julia; Julia's son, Felix, and Farley and Dib's adopted aboriginal son, Nugget. Their relatives are Girlie, Dib's twin sister; Lyle, Girlie's son; Maureen, his wife, and their daughters, Ashley and Brianna. A disturbing, highly realistic piece of work, it makes the reader gradually realise that our first assumptions of the major characters, are in fact, wrong, and the reveal at the end of the play shows just how far human beings will go in their pursuit of money.
Past characters, such as a young Girlie and Dibs and their grandfather, Norm, occasionally make appearances.
This play contains examples of:
- Angrish: Lyle, right about when he breaks down mentally:
What's a... a farmer without a farm? ay? ay? a bloody grunt. A.. a bloody odd jobs man with no fancy nancy qualifications, no diploma, no shiny-arsed qualifications. A.. a fucking refugee. Fucking Nothing.
- The Chessmaster: Maureen. And how
- Domestic Abuse: It's hinted that Lyle may be occasionally violent toward Maureen.
- Driven to Suicide: Norm. Also Lyle.
- Grey and Grey Morality: Who's worse: A woman who is trying to stop her adopted son from inheriting, or a man trying to steal her farm so his lover won't leave him?
- Manipulative Bastard: The reader is first led to think that Lyle and Dibs are the two chief players in the game. It's revealed that all along the real villains are, in fact, Girlie and Maureen. Girlie manipulates Dibs into changing the will and leaving the farm to Lyle, a violent and unstable man, instead of Nugget, the rightful heir. In the end, it's Maureen who gets everything.
- Straight Gay: William and possibly Felix.