Anyone who has ever raised a family knows only too well the unbearable angst that accompanies the sound of a babe crying in the night. The more prolonged the crying, the greater the angst. And yet, as parents, though we might move heaven and earth in order to spare our children the slightest sorrow, it is as much our role to allow them to learn how to cry as it is to protect them from the very troubles that provoke their tears.

That is the impossible balancing act of parenthood. An act carried out, as often as not, in the midst of the intimate darkness of the marital bed, in the dead of night. More than any other place on earth, be it a battlefield, a bar-room or the back stairs, the marital bed is where the true business of life is transacted - in furtive, whispered darkness, from conception through to death.

And it is within this most secret of places, through a series of deft scenes spanning over a quarter of a century, that the drama of 'Controlled Crying' is played out. Here, amidst the rumpled, chaotic counterpane of life, Libby and Oscar play out the odyssey that is the raising of Millie. And an odyssey it truly is, with all the angst, the humour, the pettiness and the profundity of life itself.

  • a comedy with a tragic ending
  • 111
  • 2 total
  • 1 female identifying, 1 male identifying
  • 18+
  • adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | 50s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 110

EXTRACT: You keep your eyes fixed dead ahead, on the finish line. Even though, most of the time, you try to make believe it isn't there. Until, one day, there it is right in front of you, like the Grand Canyon. And there's no getting around it. 'Cos it takes your breath away. Suddenly. (sudden gasp) Like that. As if your heart just missed a beat. Again and again and again. Until you realise what's happening. But by then it's too late. You're already crying.


Male | 50s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 106

EXTRACT: I don't know whether you've ever noticed, but I'm a guy. Before I met you, I never worried about stuff like this. I never dissected every last nuance, every last inflection, every last word of every sentence that was ever spoken. I never worried period. I just got on with life. Just took every day as it came and got on with it. If it was good, fine. If it was bad, then bad luck. That's just the way it was. But then I met you, and this whole universe of angst and self-doubt opened up in front of me.

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