Image: courtesy of St Martin’s Youth Arts Centre
2009: presented by St Martins Youth Arts Centre as part of the ’1989′ performance ensemble show
2009: commissioned and developed as part of the St Martins Emerging Writers’ Ensemble
Presentation – St Martins Youth Arts Centre
Writer Michele Lee
Director Adena Jacobs
Production designer Marg Horwell
Lighting designer Richard Vabre
Sound designer Jared Lewis
With the St Martins’s 2009 Performance Ensemble
Development – St Martins Emerging Writers’ Ensemble
Writer Michele Lee
Dramaturg Melanie Beddie
Short play, stage
St Martin’s put together a group of four young playwrights and asked us to respond to the theme of 1989. We would write 20 minute plays which would be performed by the Performance Ensemble.
1989 was an interesting year for many reasons – shit was going down in Europe, the 90s were approaching, across the world there were conservative governments in power. White Australia had just turned 200. I was 9, some of the other playwrights were barely even crawling at that age. It was a nostalgic time for us, but one of childhood memories.
I turned to Wikipedia and what stood out to me was the patricide by brothers Erik and Lyle Menendez. Seemingly for money, they murdered their parents. Their alibi at the time was that they were at the movies watching the blockbuster film Batman.
True crime is a guilty pleasure for me, but etched in my child’s mind’s eye was the memory of the Menendez brothers in prison organge jumpsuits, seated in the docks in the courtroom. It rang a bell for me.
In Love, my 20 minute play is like an extended moment of repression, agony and guilt, as Erik Menendez, the younger and the weaker of the two brothers, is perched on the precipice of confession. The play is in three scenes, and follows a ghostly day for Erik as he befriends a handsome newcomer, Rob. Eventually, Rob and Erik end up at the murder scene: the family home. It’s vacant, Batman is playing cat ‘n’ mouse with Jack Nicholson’s Joker. Lyle is waiting.