SPEAKABLE ACTS: SIX PLAYS
SPEAKABLE ACTS gathers together Herman Goodden’s six plays which have been professionally produced on Canadian and American stages. Included are the complete scripts of The Judgement of Slippery Jack, Suffering Fools (which Goodden also adapted in an award-winning script for CBC Radio), The Anniversary, Slippery or You Can’t Get There From Here, The Dark Ages and Nature Abhors a Vacuum.
The book is prefaced with a newly written 'Overture' in which Goodden gives some of the background behind the development and reception of each script. Also included are full cast lists and reproductions of the posters from the premiere productions of each play by Roger Baker, Alan Dayton, Kirtley Jarvis and Maridon Miller.
Published by Bettger Books. 284 pages with 6 illustrations, $24.95
THE JUDGEMENT OF SLIPPERY JACK An entertaining and thoughtful play whose author gives a serious problem a hilarious comic treatment.
— James Reaney Sr., London Free Press
SUFFERING FOOLS Its direct theatrical self-presentation, along with its staged resurrection of the dead and gone, have distinct flavours of Our Town. Its central figure, the developmentally challenged Rodney Kincaid, could be an early study for ‘Forrest Gump’. Goodden’s play draws strong energy and poignancy from Rodney’s anger and his hurt, his despair and his dreams, and perhaps especially from his remarkable self-awareness. But this is not a despairing play. Suffering Fools moves to a triumph of personal wish-fulfillment, a suggestion like those in Shakespeare’s last plays, of the powerful capacity of the imagination to heal a broken world.
— Skip Shand, Seven Short Plays from Theatre Ontario
THE ANNIVERSARY Goodden, long a respected essayist and short story writer, took up play writing only three years ago and has learned the new form quickly. His latest, The Anniversary, a good story well-acted, represents a further narrowing of focus and refinement of form.
— Doug Bale, London Free Press
SLIPPERY or YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE Herman Goodden’s play is funny, sad and thought provoking and director Charlie Tomlinson has presented it well for young audiences.
— Sheila Martindale, Scene
THE DARK AGES Herman Goodden is serious about writing, even when his material is funny. At the heart of all his work is a love of language, an acute understanding of the human condition, and a desire to write for performance. Most of his writing is seldom lifted off the printed page when he does his day job as a journalist but the material he writes for performance is crafted by a man with a fine ear for the spoken word.
— Ric Wellwood, Scene
NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM A dig at London’s downtown, some amusing insights into religion, a poignant portrait of a door-to-door seller and some genuine wisdom about marriage. London writer Herman Goodden has wrapped all that and more into his play.
— Ian Gillespie, London Free Press