Bloomsbury Women and The Wild Colonial Girl

Cast – (min) 2 women, with doubling
ISBN 978 0 958 2310 15
Teachers' discount $17
RRP $22.50

Published by The Women’s Play Press
(in association with The Play Press)

Bloomsbury Women and The Wild Colonial Girl
Lorae Parry

The play focuses on Katherine Mansfield’s friendships and relationships with women, in particular her relationship with Virginia Woolf and her ongoing friendship with Ida Baker (LM). It is compiled entirely from the words of Katherine Mansfield, Ida Baker, Virginia Woolf and other members of The Bloomsbury Group.

Woolf said of Mansfield -I shall think of her at intervals all through life... we had something in common, which I shall never find in anyone else.

- while Mansfield once said to Virginia -
You are the only woman with whom I long to talk work. There will never be another….

"The past twenty years have seen Mansfield credited with her rightful place as one of the important figures in twentieth century Modernism. For much longer than that she has held the imagination of writers who attempt to catch that glinting, elusive, compelling personality - at least a dozen plays, numerous poems, several novels. Few, in my view, get closer than does Lorae Parry's short, incisive play in suggesting Mansfield's instinctive engagement with life, and her finding the way to talk of it with originality and flair. Parry's K.M., the 'colonial' girl at large in a hard and dazzling world, takes us close to 'the real thing'. It is a play that does justice to that amusing, clever, compassionate, constantly self-examining personality it engages with. And it shows us Virginia Woolf as well in a freshly slanting light."Vincent O'Sullivan.

Lorae Parry was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and moved to New Zealand in 1973. She is a playwright, actress and director with an extensive writing and acting career. She was awarded the Stout Fellowship at Victoria University (NZ) in 1994 and was the first woman playwright to become Writer-In-Residence at Victoria University in 1999. She has a Masters Degree in Scriptwriting, and in 2004 was awarded a Queen’s Honour, M.N.Z.M., for her services to the Performing Arts.

Also by Lorae Parry:-
Frontwomen; Cracks; Eugenia (VUP); Vagabonds (VUP)

Katherine Mansfield is New Zealand’s most famous short story writer. Born in 1888 into a prominent middle class family in Wellington, she moved to London in 1903 to complete her schooling at Queen’s College. She returned reluctantly to Wellington in 1906 where she wrote her first published short stories. She formed two romantic relationships with women during this time in Wellington as well as with several young men.

The strong bonds of friendship with women were to endure throughout her marriage to John Middleton Murry and throughout her life and are reflected in her writing. She met Virginia Woolf in the autumn of 1916 and the two writers formed an intense relationship based on rivalry and mutual admiration. Woolf once commented that Mansfield was the only writer she’d ever been jealous of. The two women had much in common, and each found in the other a place where she could ‘talk writing’. They were intellectual equals with deep understanding of their craft, and recognition of each other’s strengths and fallibility.