Willful Acts


287 pages
ISBN 0-88922-385-8
DDC C812'.54





Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan, and président de la Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


This reissue of Margaret Hollingsworth’s four best-known and most
popular plays (The Apple in the Eye, Everloving, Diving Islands, and War
Babies), originally published in 1985 by Coach House Press, also
includes her new play Commonwealth Games (which was produced in February
1996 under the title Blowing Up Toads) as well as Anne Saddlemyer’s
incisive 1985 introduction to Hollingsworth’s theatre. Four of the
plays focus on recurring women’s issues and themes. Commonwealth Games
deals with the English immigrant experience in postcolonial, politically
correct Canada.

It’s surprising, and disappointing, that Talonbooks did not take to
heart Saddlemyer’s lament that the original edition did not include
several other Hollingsworth plays, including Mother Country, Bushed and
Operators, and Alli Alli Oh, the companion piece to Diving Islands (one
of the first plays to feature lesbian characters). Hollingsworth has had
a long and distinguished career as a playwright and radio and screen
writer. Surely it is a career worthy of a larger effort in the reissue
of an important collection such as this.


Hollingsworth, Margaret., “Willful Acts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/714.