1949 continues the saga of the Mercer family, enlarged to include the extended family as well as off-stage characters from earlier plays. David French deals with the emotional and political decisions that the characters must come to as Newfoundland joins Confederation on April Fool’s Day of 1949. As recent immigrants to Toronto, the members of the Mercer family see this event both as a new future and as a loss of Newfoundland’s culture and independence.
Cast of 6 women, 6 men and 2 boys.
About the author
Born in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, David French was one of Canada’s best-known and most critically acclaimed playwrights. His work received many major awards, and French was one of the first inductees into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour.
Among his best-loved works are the semi-autobiographical Mercer plays: Salt-Water Moon, 1949, Leaving Home, recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Influential Books (Literary Review of Canada) and one of the 1,000 Most Essential Plays in the English Language (Oxford Dictionary of Theatre), Of the Fields, Lately and Soldier’s Heart. The Mercer plays have received hundreds of productions across North America, including a Broadway production of Of the Fields, Lately. This quintet of plays about a Newfoundland family has also touched audiences in Europe, South America and Australia. In addition, French produced skillful adaptations of Alexander Ostrovsky’s The Forest, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
- Short-listed, BC Book Prize for Non-Fiction
“With the love French bears his characters, and the humour, poignancy, and insight that grace every scene, 1949 stands squarely in the rich tradition of world literature — Chekhov springs to mind — that maps the intricate joys and torment of the human soul.”