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1979

1979
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Michael Healey
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 1770917500
ISBN-13: 9781770917507
Cast Size: 3 or more male or female

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

1979 is a full-length comedy by Michael Healey. A fast-paced comedy that examines the rapidly changing rapidly landscape of conservative party politics in Canada, and around the world, and reflects on the end of a time when politicians were elected to serve all people – not just their base. 1979 is a sparkling and rowdy political satire that is a hugely relevant debate about leadership and power.

1979 – based on true events – is a hilarious battle of wits that takes us inside the corridors of power. In May 1979, Progressive Conservative Joe Clark was elected as Canada's youngest ever Prime Minister. By Christmas 1979, it looked as though it was all over. But our hero is Joe Clark is young, idealistic, and stubborn, resolute on making his mark in office, and governing for the whole country, not just his own party supporters. His minority Conservative government is under threat of dissolution before it has a chance to accomplish anything – even pass a budget. On the eve of his minority government's defeat in a non-confidence motion, he must decide whether he should put his first budget before Parliament. He knows that if he does he could lose everything. He seeks a moment of peace in the privacy of his office ... or at least he tries. Enter every political powerhouse of the era: his colleagues – Brian Mulroney and a very young Stephen Harper, even his predecessor Pierre Trudeau – take the opportunity to steer him in completely different directions… They tell him he should pull some strings, make some deals. Compromise. But like we said, he's stubborn. No matter where you stand, or even if you don't follow politics, you'll love these great characters and their sometimes dubious shenanigans.

1979 premiered in 2017 at the Martha Cohen Theatre in Calgary and received a Betty Mitchell Award nomination as Best Play. Since then the play was presented at the Shaw Festival and had regional premieres at professional theatres across Canada and has been mounted by colleges, and community theatres. The European premiere will be in 2024 at the Finborough Theatre in London.

Cast: 3 male (or female) portraying one dozen characters

What people say:

"A terrific political satire… We both recommend it highly. Go see it, you'll laugh. Always a good thing in January." — Mooney on Theatre

"Genuinely moving, sincerely funny." — The Globe and Mail

"It's genuinely funny, literate and highly entertaining." — Macleans Magazine

"1979 plays prime ministers for a laugh." — Ottawa Citizen

"Politics can be nasty; in Michael Healey's hands, they can be very funny, too. Characters such as Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Maureen McTeer and even a very young Stephen Harper come tumbling through the revolving door of the Prime Minister's Office. But what I really love is the tension between principles and politics in this play, making it incredibly apt for these times." — Victoria News

About the Playwright:

Michael Healey is a renowned Canadian playwright and actor. He trained as an actor at Toronto's Ryerson Theatre School in the early 1980s. After ten years working as an actor on stages across Canada, his first play, a solo one-act called Kicked, was produced at the Fringe of Toronto Festival in 1996. Since then, he has become an exceptional voice in Canadian theatre. With an outstanding breadth of work, Michael has won a number of awards as a playwright, including Dora Mavor Moore awards, a Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, and a Chalmers Canadian Play Award, as well as awards across Canada and internationally.

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