A: John Murrell Pf: 1977, Calgary, Alberta Pb: 1980 G: Drama in 24 scenes S: Janet's home, Calgary, Second World War C: 5fFive women come together at Janet's home to prepare bandages for the Canadian armed forces in the Second World War. Their existence is determined by the men in their lives, which is revealed in dialogue, monologue, song, and dance. Janet, the bossy organizer, is a strong, reliable individual, totally supportive of her husband. Margaret is a widow, previously devoted to her husband and now to her children. Marta, like the biblical Martha, is a passive figure, a dutiful daughter, while Eve, like her Garden of Eden namesake, is the easily manipulated innocent. Catherine, the most outrageous of the group, is a loose woman but genuinely kind. Despite the absence of their menfolk, they maintain the roles assigned to them by their patriarchal society.
A: John Murrell Pf: 1977, Calgary, Alberta Pb: 1980 G: Drama in 24 scenes S: Janet's home, Calgary, Second World War C: 5f
Despite the fact that the play is based on interviews, there remains the inevitable problem of ‘ventriloquism’: how can a male playwright know how women communicate when on their own? Murrell suggests that these women are so conditioned by the men in their lives that they have lost the positive qualities of female togetherness, reflected in the fact that they never address each other by name. The play is both an indictment of male attitudes to women and an exhortation to women to break free of these constrictions.