Fever is made up of four plays The Chair, Blunt, Savant and Psalms, and a composition, The River.

The Chair
In a desolated house, a lonely woman is confronted by an intruder. She ties him to a chair, but gives him the chance to win his freedom by moving her with his story.

The members of a deeply depressed and morbid little community gather nightly to eat fish and chips and whinge about how good things used to be. They come to believe their malaise can be traced to an evil baby born to a frightened pair of teenagers.

Two young men, childhood friends, quickly become enemies when their country is plunged into civil war. In a landscape of unrelenting horror, one finds himself haunted by the ghost of the other, who is asking back for the heart, tongue and genitals that were taken from him.

A group of women live on a desolate and stinking landscape where nothing good grows anymore. They fetch a baby out of the river, save it, give it every chance. And what does it do? The ungrateful little shit goes and dies on them.

"This is not propaganda that beats a dogmatic drum fuelled by its own certainty. On the contrary, much of Fever's appeal lies in its courageous lack of certainty, conveyed by the deliberately non-naturalistic and non-specific mode of performance. It states its case, it is true, but leaves much up to the audience to decide." - Helen Thomson, The Age, 20 September 2002

  • tragicomedy drama
  • 100
  • 7 total
  • 3 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • women
  • 18+
  • teen, young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 5

EXTRACT: We're fucked/Totally fucked/ Rooted/ The /water's crap/ It comes down like that/ It's them chemicals/ It's the / shit everywhere/ It's the stuff they put in the ground/It's the stuff they take out of the ground/ They say it's the plastic/ It's the spray/It's in the air/ It's in the soil/ It's in the water/ It's in the food/ What food!

Adult themes, Adult language


Female | Unspecified | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 67

EXTRACT: There was a river here once ... It ran through our place ... marked our boundary. I remember it... It hasn't run in years. Not like it did when I was a girl. Just a trickle now. Not even that most of the time. Just a swamp. The cattle don't know. They wander in there. Get stuck. It takes a day to get them out. Most you don't find. Until summer. When it's dry. Just the bones then.Not like before. In my grandfather's time.


Gender Unspecified | Child | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 83

EXTRACT: I know what's making you sick. I know why you're so unhappy. I know why you're miserable I'm just a baby and perhaps that's why I see things with fresh eyes and I'm not afraid to be simple and to speak the unsavory truth. All we've got to do is sit down, we've got to take a bit of time and we've got to work out the things that matter to us, that really matter to us, and we've got to be smart and we've got to be fearless..

Adult themes, Adult language



"Fever is about the way humanity consumes that which nutures it."



"Fever comprises four plays - Bovell's The Chair, Tsoilkas' Psalms, Cornelius' Blunt and Reeves' Savant. All deal variously with issues of race, class, culture and environment, with the river as a connecting thread, representing a line of demarcation as much as a means of escape, a rancid sewer as much as a source of renewal."

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