Playing Beatie Bow
eBook - ePub

Playing Beatie Bow

Kate Mulvany, Kate Mulvany

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

Playing Beatie Bow

Kate Mulvany, Kate Mulvany

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Table of contents

About This Book

Abigail is a teenager who doesn't quite fit in. She's new in The Rocks, old in her dress sense, and stuck in the middle of her parents' messy separation. She can't wait to get away from all of it. When a street game played by the neighbourhood kids conjures up a mysterious girl, Abigail follows her down twisting alleyways to find herself stuck somewhere strangely familiar and yet entirely strange: The Rocks … in 1873. Abigail must first work out where on earth she is, then how she's going to get home … and if she really wants to. Kate Mulvany's adaptation of Ruth Park's classic Playing Beatie Bow, follows in the footsteps of her much-lauded version of Park's The Harp in the South, with all its colour, music, humour and verve. In a rollicking tale filled with mystery, romance and magic, Playing Beatie Bow explores the gift each of us must discover inside ourselves. The past is closer than you think.

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In darkness, children’s voices float through space and time, singing an ancient, eerie rhyme.
Oh, Mudda, what’s that? What’s that?
Nothing at all … The dog at the door …
A teenage girl—ABIGAIL KIRK—sits alone by a lamppost.
Oh, Mudda, what’s that? What’s that?
The wind in the chimney, that’s all, that’s all.
Oh, Mudda, what’s that? Can you see?
The cow in the byre … The horse in the stall …
Slowly, slowly … a figure appears onstage, emerging from the darkness. She is BEATIE BOW.
‘Her face was pale and her hair was clipped so close it looked like cat’s fur. She wore a long, washed-out print dress, a pinafore of brown cotton, and a shawl crossed over her chest.’
Oh, Mudda, what’s that in the shadows?
A fox in its hole … A hare in its burrow …
Oh, Mudda, I see something there!
Close your eyes, bairn, shhh shhh, there there …
BEATIE walks toward ABIGAIL, her arms lifting as she approaches, reaching out for the girl.
Oh, Mudda, what’s that up ahead?!
It’s Beatie Bow! Back from the dead!
The children scream. And BEATIE Bow disappears into thin air.
An apartment, high above Sydney, 2021. ABIGAIL and her mother KATHY are going through an old trunk of antique bits and bobs. Kathy’s mother-in-law MARGARET peers out of a window.
‘Abigail was thin and flat as a board, with a narrow brown face and black coffee eyes. Long brown hair and black, straight eyebrows.’ She wears a long vintage green dress and boots and sits quietly, assisting her mother.
KATHY wears overalls, with her hair ‘raked up on top of her head in a washerwoman’s knot’. She hums an ancient tune softly as she sorts through the trunk.
MARGARET—Abigail’s grandmother—takes in the view as she sips from a cup of tea.
‘She was chic and glittery and poisonous.’
MARGARET: Good Lord, I could never live this high—if there was a fire you’d have no hope. How many more climbers can they cram onto the Bridge, do you think? There’s five lots up there already—only a matter of time before the whole thing collapses. So much construction, more cranes than buildings—the giraffes at Taronga will think it’s bloody mating season. Very kind of Weyland’s firm to let you live here—I mean, what’s it worth, Katherine? Five, five point five? Of course, we were never allowed to venture into this area when I was young. Slums. You can feel it, can’t you? It’s etched into The Rocks. Still, at least it’s central, I suppose.
What is that God-awful thing, Katherine?
KATHY: It’s an old bridal chest. So much inside—my clients will love it.
MARGARET: Where on earth did you find it?
KATHY: The council flats around the corner. Deceased estate. Just turfed out on the cobblestones with ‘Please Take Me’ scrawled on a note.
MARGARET: It smells putrid.
KATHY: I don’t smell anything.
MARGARET: Because you’re used to it, dear. Desensitised.
KATHY: There’s bound to be some treasure we can sell at Magpies if we keep digging, right, Abigail?
ABIGAIL gives a small smile and nods.
MARGARET: Along with plenty of vermin, no doubt.
KATHY: I had to deal with plenty more vermin as a lawyer, Margaret. The worst kind. The ones with red t...

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Playwright’s Biography
  3. Foreword
  4. Conversations across time: the joyous stage production of Playing Beatie Bow
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Dedication
  7. First Production
  8. Characters and Setting
  9. Playing Beatie Bow
  10. Song, Spell and Chant References
  11. Also by Kate Mulvany
  12. Copyright Details
Citation styles for Playing Beatie Bow

APA 6 Citation

Park, R. (2021). Playing Beatie Bow ([edition unavailable]). Currency Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2021)

Chicago Citation

Park, Ruth. (2021) 2021. Playing Beatie Bow. [Edition unavailable]. Currency Press.

Harvard Citation

Park, R. (2021) Playing Beatie Bow. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Park, Ruth. Playing Beatie Bow. [edition unavailable]. Currency Press, 2021. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.