In 2005 Linda made a trip with her father to the last reunion of his RAF comrades, the 49th Squadron, Bomber Command. Intertwining her father’s experiences of a long-ago war with the war between a father and daughter, Linda Griffiths unveils an emotional chronicle of a family navigating a familiar yet foreign relationship.
About the author
Linda Griffiths is an actress, producer, and writer. Griffiths is a founding member of 25th Street Theatre in Saskatoon and one of the original cast members in its collective creation Paper Wheat (1978), which toured sold-out houses across Canada. A year later, she performed in another collective creation, Les Maudits Anglais, in Montreal under the direction of future co-writer, Paul Thompson. Griffiths’s first major success came when she and Thompson collaborated to write Maggie and Pierre, a one-person, three-character play that bases its narrative structure on events in Pierre and Margaret Trudeau’s life together. Maggie and Pierre toured Canada, played the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, and Off Broadway at the Phoenix Theatre.
Griffiths has also written O.D. in Paradise (first produced in 1982 at 25th Street Theatre); Jessica (with Maria Campbell, first produced in 1984 at 25th Street Theatre and later at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille in 1986); The Darling Family (first produced in 1991 at Theatre Passe Muraille, made in 1993 into a feature film); Brother AndrÃ©’s Heart (first produced in 1992 at Crow’s Theatre, Toronto); and The Duchess (first produced in 1998 at Theatre Passe Muraille). Between 1986 and 1988, Griffiths was co-artistic director of Theatre Passe Muraille, along with Layne Coleman and Clarke Rogers. Griffiths has received many awards for her contributions to the theatre world. She has won five Dora Mavor Moore awards, including wins for Maggie and Pierre (1980), O.D. in Paradise (1983), Jessica (1986), and Alien Creature (2000); a Gemini award; two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards for Jessica (1986) and Alien Creature (2000); and a Quizanne International Festival award for Jessica (1987). She has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Griffiths started her own company, Duchess Productions (1997), which produced the tour of Alien Creature. In addition to her plays, Griffiths writes fiction and poetry. In 1999, an anthology of her work, Sheer Nerve: Seven Plays by Linda Griffiths, was published. Her latest play, The Age of Arousal, premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects’s Enbridge playRites Festival in 2007.
Excerpt: The Last Dog of War (by (author) Linda Griffiths)
“The last real conversation I had with my father was when I was fifteen. I am standing at the top of the stairs, my father is at the bottom of the stairs; he’s got his coat on—the door to the garage, the door to the rec room. I say, ‘I hate you.’ He turns around, looks at me and says, ‘Yeah, well I hate you too.’ Since then, a superficial patching up has gone on. There are visits. We embrace. There are jokes. Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, not so much Father’s Day—but we have been polite.”
“An expert story-teller, Griffiths adds in plenty of details, about herself, her father and the British relatives she agrees to visit on the trip. The whole play ends up feeling like hearing an old friend tell a great story about a quirky family vacation.” —Avenue Calgary