Tag Archives: Tom Christofersen

COUGH

Images by Benjamin Brockman
The games children play in Emily Calder’s COUGH. Images by Lucy Parakhina

Emily Calder’s play commences with three children, represented by children’s toy dolls, playing in a sandpit. These dolls are manipulated by three actors who also adopt children’s voices for the dialogue, initially about an insignificant playground struggle. A patronising offstage childcare voice (Sandra the centre manager) reprimands the children about their squabble.

The three actors manipulating the dolls then step back from the sandpit and play the parents of Jess, Isla and Finlay. The parents, Julie (Melissa Brownlow), Isabelle (Vanessa Cole) and Clive (Tim Reuben), wonderfully represent the parents of young children. They discuss the behaviour of their fantastic children, the good and bad aspects of the other parents and all the usual topics of schoolyard discussion.

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