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SERPENT IN THE NIGHT SKY

Warren, Dianne
Toronto, Playwrights Canada Press, 1992. 103pp, paper, $7.00, ISBN 0-88754-477-0. CIP


Adult

Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March


Warren isolates her cast of losers and misfits in northern Saskatchewan: Joy and Duff, teenagers who have just met and are planning to marry; Stella, Duff's older sister, who is denying an obvious state of pregnancy; Gator, Stella's husband, aspiring petty criminal, bully and wife abuser; Preacher, watching the night sky for a giant snake that will devour the moon; Marlene, the mother of Stella and Duff, who appears occasionally from the bush to leave a dead rabbit on the doorstep. Their conflicts are revealed in the kind of dialogue that holds a theatre audience, distinctive and convincing for each character, especially for the foul-mouthed Stella and Gator.

Readers, however, will find themselves questioning some things here: the lack of definite focus on Stella (the real centre of the play), the sudden collapse of Gator as soon as the others oppose him, and the failure to integrate the heavy symbolism of the moon-devouring serpent into the play as a whole.

Warren's apprentice play gives every indication that there are better things to come from her. Consider purchase for mature readers, especially those who would be intrigued by the fact that the female characters, apparent victims, drive the action.


Pat Bolger is a retired teacher-librarian in Renfrew, Ontario
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