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Set in Australia, Big Heart is a study in identity. It is a play about relationships, multiculturalism, imperialism, racism and ultimately the love between a mother and her children.
A woman adopts a child from each of the continents. She believes she offers the children a better life, absent of poverty, and war, and neglect. Big Heart follows their lives through babyhood, adolescence and adulthood and is punctuated by moments of catharsis and joy.
Big Heart deals with big concerns about us as a nation. On the surface, the play is about relationships; about love between mother and child, and between siblings. It’s about family and what constitutes one.
Beneath the surface, the play reflects Australia in all its diversity. It is about a multi-cultural Australia which both celebrates and struggles with its issues of class and identity; cultural, social and national.
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Female | 50s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 1
EXTRACT: The thought of reaching the end of my life and looking back to see that I had not lived it well, terrifies me. To live life well. No easy task. To live it fully, to live it vibrantly, to live it decently, thatâ€™s all I ask. The decent bit, of course, is the hardest part. I am wealthy. Iâ€™ve not wanted for anything. Iâ€™ve never been poor, never been hungry, never been afraid. I have, on occasion, been sad. An indulged only child, I loved school, enjoyed the antics of friends and the excitement of new ideas and the audacity of rebellion. I travelled. I did my degree at university. I married. I divorced. I married. I divorced again. I was trained by my father to take over the business. I sit on boards, manage important deals, have huge responsibilities, to employees, to trustees, to greedy members of the extended family. Since his death I have full power over the estate. Despite a life full of beautiful things, visits to extraordinary places, dinner parties with erudite and distinguished guests, and every conceivable comfort at my behest, should I glimpse my reflection in a mirror, I see a woman who has a look about her that is disconcerting. Itâ€™s as if sheâ€™s about to have the rug pulled from under her. I am childless. By choice. Iâ€™ve no interest in bearing a child, nor a sense of not achieving something fundamental if I do not. I feel no less a woman.