Dorothy Hewett. Writer, Mother, Lover, Feminist, Revolutionary and Radical. This play explores her life from her childhood in country West Australia to her wild days as a communist in the mean streets of Sydney’s Redfern, and her tempestuous relationship with her lover Les Flood. It is the story of a woman who lived hard and loved hard, who was ahead of her time and progressive with her politics and her sexuality, and who wrote fiercely and honestly about her own life and the lives of Australia’s working class. It is also the story of a woman who failed her children on a number of levels and whose legacy has been tainted as a result.

I Must Not Tell Lies explores the tension that exists when freedom versus responsibility, desire versus parenthood and ideology versus reality.

  • drama
  • 90
  • 8 total
  • 4 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • history, women
  • 18+
  • adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Dead Dorothy

Female | 60+ | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 26

EXTRACT: Look Clancy look! I’ve come home! I went away but I always meant to come back! Your father sent me a letter from Perth. He said you had leukemia and had six months to live. All those months of pregnancy. The labour. Your tender face drunk with milk, nestling against my breast. All those baths and boiled nappies and carefully prepared meals. I nurse you in hospital in your final hours. Die my darling. It’s ok to die. I don’t call them until your little fingers unfurl around my wrist and your lips fade to a pale blue.

Dead Dorothy

Female | 60+ | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 43

EXTRACT: SHUT UP for God’s sake! You whiny little… All those years of toil for what? My name in the literary canon. You made it mud for what? You could have dined out on my legacy. Your children could have grown up proud of their Nan. You turned it all to shit and why? Because you got fucked and you didn’t like it! Boo fucking hoo. I gave you girls complete freedom to express yourselves and this is how you thank me? Ungrateful little…my mother told me sex was a sin. I told you it’s God’s gift…who’s right, her or me?

Adult language, Adult themes

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