Singing the Lonely Heart


Presented by the NEW Theatre Sydney & Winner of the ANPC/New Dramatists Award

2 act play
2 Males
4 Females

27 July 2006


Loosely based on the life of Southern American writer Carson McCullers and her journey from small-town alienation to international literary celebrity.

Growing up in 1930s provincial Georgia was always going to be difficult for a writer of McCullers originality and innovation and her family made themselves unpopular with their unfashionable stand against racism in the Deep South. Moving to New York allows Carson to experience not just the liberalism of Northern American thinking but also to explore her own sexuality and literary aspirations.

Her first novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter propels her to immediate prominence as a writer by the 1950s she is friend of Tennessee Williams, dinner companion of Marilyn Monroe, darling of New York transvestites. Yet she continues to struggle: with perceived rejection and lack of recognition with her bi-sexuality and that of her husband with cultural conformity and ignorance with constant ill-health and depression.

Singing the Lonely Heart does not, however, simply retell the biographical details. Against a theatrical kaleidoscopic background of Southern American freak shows, Northern American drag bars and Parisian cemeteries, the play presents a human drama about what must be sacrificed and what must be accepted in order to be faithful to ones true self.

A sometimes hilarious and often moving portrait of an original and deeply creative spirit up against the odds yet resilient, defiant and brave.

Mc Cullers was a one-off and this play does her great justice, without infantilising her legend, lionising or knocking out a hollywooden heroine. Moving, compassionate, tough, taut and terrific!

– Brad Skye, Sydney Stage Online

More works