[David Marr, Wendy Noel, Peter Anderson, Bridget Esler, Georgina Beaty, Dawn Petten, Mike Rinaldi]
Based on M.A.C. Farrant’s memoir of her fourteenth summer, My Turquoise Years is a comic coming-of-age story set in 1960. These were the early years of postwar optimism where plastic reigned and the colour turquoise was considered the height of chic.
While growing up in sleepy Cordova Bay outside of Victoria, BC, Marion lived with her Aunt Elsie, who liked to recall tales of Marion’s glamorous, globe-trotting mother, Nancy. Nancy’s world of furs, jewels, cigarette holders, and handsome men seemed miles away from the hamlet of Cordova Bay.
Just as Marion starts to blossom into womanhood, Nancy suddenly announces a visit to Canada, throwing everyone into a tizzy.
[Wendy Noel, Bridget Esler, Peter Anderson]
“Farrant’s book was first brought to our attention by Nicola Cavendish, who, after reading it on CBC’s Between the Covers, thought it would make a lovely play. She was right,” said Rachel Ditor, the play’s director and dramaturg. “Part nostalgic look at daily life in 1960, My Turquoise Years is also a reminder of the social constraints of the nuclear family back then. What makes the play contemporary, though, is its affirmation that family is more than biology; it’s who you choose to share your home with. That life is up for invention.”
Farrant was born in 1947 in Sydney, Australia, and has resided on Vancouver Island since 1953. She is the author of 13 books, comprised mainly of short stories and humorous fiction. Once described as “Canada’s most acerbic and intelligent humourist,” she weaves dry observation and absurdity with a knowing eloquence. An alumna of both the Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, Farrant is a full-time writer. She is a contributor to Adbusters and Geist, a frequent book reviewer for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail, and organizer of the Sidney Reading Series.
Nominated for multiple literary awards, Farrant has received several writing grants at both national and provincial levels. Her work has been anthologized widely, and adapted for radio, television, and now, for the first time, the stage.
The Arts Club Theatre production of My Turquoise Years stars Peter Anderson, Georgina Beaty, Bridget Esler, David Marr, Wendy Noel, Dawn Petten and Mike Rinaldi.
My Turquoise Years: Memoir of a Canadian Girlhood
Dates: April 4 to May 4; Mondays and Tuesdays, 7:30 pm; Wednesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Wednesday and Saturday, 2 pm matinees
Venue: Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $29 to $49, including tax and fees; via online or by phoning the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644.
Special Showings: Thursday Theatre Talks, April 18, 6:30 pm; Talk Back Tuesdays, April 23, 7:30 pm
All photos by David Cooper.