Ted and Kath McIntosh are a retired couple living in a suburban house which they obsessively clean and tidy. Their son, Roger, a university student, has left home and not been back nor made any contact since. They keep his room ready for him to return and, each year on his birthday, they have a “party” for him, at which they pretend that he comes to lunch.

They have a story about why he left, where he is, what he’s doing and his plans, which they continually develop, refine, and often argue over. In this way they reassure themselves about his absence but they have increasing difficulty maintaining this fiction with their neighbours – Stubbs, a retired, single man on one side and Mrs Tran and her two children, the new Asian family on the other.

What really happened is gradually revealed as Stubbs becomes concerned about the McIntoshes and their increasing withdrawal from the world.

When Roger does really return, he and Ted face off and the full impact of his departure hits home.

  • naturalistic - comic
  • 45
  • 5 total
  • 2 female identifying, 3 male identifying
  • 18+
  • young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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