Downfall: Three New Zealand History Plays
Downfall allows readers to view the history of New Zealand through a dramatic lens. These three plays by the acclaimed author of Daughters of Heaven have intrigued audiences in professional productions in New Zealand and overseas. Te Keni explores the fraught relationship between Maori and Pakeha in the early colonial period. Larnach reveals the dynamics of the prominent family that established Larnach Castle in Dunedin. My Heart Is Bathed in Blood examines the tragic consequences of the relationship between two medical students in 1950s Otago. Each play is introduced with an essay that provides historical context and performance history. Downfall is ideal for students and teachers of drama and for those with an interest in New Zealand's rich heritage.
Forster’s impeccable research and unerring dramatic instincts come together to bring history vividly alive.
I’ve no doubt that these lively plays will appeal widely to senior drama students, their teachers and audiences. — Tessa Duder
One can rely on Michelanne Forster to find fascinating parts of New Zealand history
and bring them entertainingly to the stage. — Roger Hall
Michelanne Forster understands that our history is full of instructive human drama. — Owen Marshal
Michelanne began her career as a script editor/writer for Television New Zealand in the Children and Young Person's Department. She has amassed a body of work that includes short stories, children's television scripts, books for children, prize-winning plays for adults and children and one work of non-fiction. Her plays have been performed professionally by theatre companies throughout New Zealand, and in Australia, Canada and the United States. In 2010 she premiered three new works: Tic Tic, a one-man show about Tourette Syndrome (International Comedy Festival, Auckland), Don't Mention Casablanca (Court Theatre, Christchurch), and The Secret of Dongting Lake (The Edge, Auckland). Michelanne teaches Creative Writing courses for Continuing Education at Auckland University and is on the board of the New Zealand Writer's Guild.