A Ghost in My Suitcase
eBook - ePub

A Ghost in My Suitcase

The play

Gabrielle Wang, Vanessa Bates

  1. English
  2. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  3. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

A Ghost in My Suitcase

The play

Gabrielle Wang, Vanessa Bates

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

Adapted by Vanessa Bates from Gabrielle Wang's award-winning novel, A Ghost in My Suitcase is an action-packed adventure story that crosses cultural and spiritual worlds.

Twelve-year-old Celeste - 'half French, half Chinese and all Australian' - travels to China to scatter her mother's ashes. There she meets her grandmother, Por Por, a quirky and wise woman with an unusual skill. Por Por is a ghost-hunter and her services are much in demand.

When Celeste learns she may have inherited her grandmother's talent, she must decide whether to acknowledge her gifts and use them to save her family and friends, and if she has the strength needed for the job.

Filled with fantastical characters from this world and the next, A Ghost in My Suitcase is a beautifully told tale of mystery, grief, difference and acceptance.

WINNER: 2019 AWGIE Award for Theatre for Young Audiences.

'This short play about twelve-year-old Celeste and her Asian family will delight many students in Years 6 and 7. There are not many plays for students in the middle years and even fewer that reflect Australian connections with Asian cultures.' (English in Australia, Volume 55, November 2, 2020)

' A Ghost in My Suitcase is superb family theatre - a stylish, big-hearted and vibrant adaptation of a much-loved children's book.' The Age

'This is a sophisticated and poetic rendition adapted by Vanessa Bates, ostensibly for children, but calibrated also for an adult sensibility.' ArtsHub

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CELESTE appears, walking slowly towards the audience.
Images appear from her dream: water rippling, a giant fish. All are projected on a screen behind her. We hear a fragment of folk song.
CELESTE: Mama? Mama? Mama?
The indistinct shape of MAMA appears momentarily from within the dream and then disappears again.
Mama, I’m here!
Lights as CELESTE holds a wrapped wooden box of her mother’s ashes.
[To the audience] Each night I try to dream of Mama. I never quite see her. Instead, I see … a sleeping moon, a giant fish, a stream of water, rippling. And I hear … a song I can’t quite recognise, the flow of its melody carrying me along …
She unwraps the wooden box.
Behind CELESTE, projection transforms the large ‘mother box’ into a giant version of this box of ashes.
[To the audience] Mama always wanted to return to China. So, I’m bringing her ashes back. Back to the home of our ancestors.
The voice of an AIR HOSTESS is heard, during which CELESTE puts the box carefully away in her backpack. We see projections of Shanghai airport.
AIR HOSTESS: [voiceover, in Mandarin]
[Nǚshìmen, xiānshēngmen: Fēijī zhèngzài xiàjiàng. Qǐng nín huí yuán wèi zuò hǎo, xì hǎo ānquán dài, shōu qǐ xiǎo zhuō bǎn, jiāng zuò yǐ kàobèi tiáozhěng dào zhèngcháng wèizhì. Suǒyǒu gèrén diànnǎo jí diànzǐ shèbèi bìxū chǔyú guānbì zhuàngtài. Qǐng nǐ quèrèn nín de shǒutí wùpǐn shìfǒu yǐ tuǒshàn ānfàng. Shāo hòu, wǒmen jiāng diào àn kècāng dēngguāng. Xièxiè!]
The greeting continues in English:
Good morning [afternoon, evening], ladies and gentlemen: Our plane is descending now. Please be seated and fasten your seatbelt. Seat backs and tables should be returned to the upright position. All personal computers and electronic devices should be turned off. And please make sure that your carry-on items are securely stowed. We will be dimming the cabin lights for landing. Thank you!
Both announcements can be shortened to accommodate a briefer transition between scenes.
The sound of a plane beginning to descend.
CELESTE moves past the sights and sounds of Shanghai airport. A cacophony of sound and image.
CELESTE: [to the audience] Shanghai airport.
Almost without noticing, she begins to sing to herself … The AIR HOSTESS catches up to her.
AIR HOSTESS: I didn’t know you were a singer, Celeste!
CELESTE: Oh no, I’m not … it’s just … if I’m a bit nervous sometimes … it helps me calm …
AIR HOSTESS: Are you sure your grandmother is coming?
CELESTE: Papa said Por Por would meet me. But … [more nervous] I can’t see her anywhere.
A box spins to reveal ...

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