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Hi, I’m Kevin McGrath. I have a lot of credits in broadcasting – radio and television, including an AWGIE for a play I wrote called The Defeat. It’s my ambition to write a novel before I depart this world and this is a snippet from it. The novel is called The Garden of Egos.
When I came in Helena was sitting on one of the visitors’ chairs in front of Dunstall’s desk. He waved at me to bring another chair. I set it at an angle to Helena’s, so I could see her better.
‘Now Michael’, Dunstall began, ‘I’ve decided that you should be the one to introduce Helena to Drama Production.’
‘But Mr Dunstall, there are far more experienced producers in the Department …’
‘No, no, no, you’re doing a first rate job with The Wide Brown Land.’ He turned to Helena. ‘Michael’s a former secondary teacher so he should be the ideal person to instruct you.’
I glanced at Helena. She still didn’t seem impressed – didn’t even look at me. However I looked at her. That silk dress she wore did a tricksy crossover in the bodice which pushed her breasts forward and revealed quite a depth of cleavage. I’m quite clever at looking but not appearing to and I’m sure she didn’t notice.
‘So Helena,’ Dunstall said, ‘Friday is our production day. Eight thirty in the morning.’
‘Eight o’clock,’ I told him. ‘There are things to be done before the rehearsal actually begins.’
Still no acknowledgement from Helena. I decided to thrust a barb at her. In a big hearty voice, I said, ‘I’m sure we’re going to get on famously together.’
She caught the irony immediately and I got a sharp little glance from her.
ABOUT KEVIN McGRATH:
I’m something of a renaissance man – not by design, I just took on a lot of different things – middle distance running, so I got to be the 880 yards Junior Champion of the Eastern Suburbs in my first year out of school. I trained as a singer and did twenty operas. I’ve written a mass of stuff for television and radio. Everything from classical music programs for ABC to comedy sketches for commercial television. I won an AWGIE for a radio play called The Defeat. My stage play Little Topar won the Cairns Centenary Drama Prize, was produced on ABC television and at Sydney’s New Theatre.
I’ve published a lot of short fiction in Australia and in England and Ireland. The best of these was probably Cross Country Race which saw the light of day in the London Magazine (UK) some time in the 1990s.
But so far, no novel published. (Sob!) My last ambition in life.
They can’t keep me away from Varuna. I just love being here. And always when I go away I feel my brain is firmed up and I want to write more – and better! Peter Bishop is my idol. One of the most beautiful civilised men in the nation. He’s given me so much encouragement that I’m confident it’s soon going to pay off.
I must also mention the writers I’ve met at Varuna. Wonderful people. A week spent with them and you feel you have friends for life!
2 Tuckers Rock Road,
REPTON. NSW. 2454.
02 6655 4546
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