The Small Poppies by David Holman


CAST SIZE: 6F, 12M (with doubling required, can be mixed up a bit)

A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, discuss, perform, draw on the ideas as stimulus for responding and creating devised work.

GENRE: Storytelling, realism, comedy, Australian contemporary theatre, aspects of non-naturalism

THEMESE: Friendship, identity, courage, resilience

CURRICULUM LINKS: The Arts – Drama, Theatre Studies, Theatre Performance, General capabilities – literacy, personal and social learning

SYNOPSIS: The first day of school is traumatic enough for any child, but for one who’s new to a country, not just the beginning of their education, it must seem doubly so. The Small Poppies is a funny and tender play in which older actors play a group of 5 year old’s on their first day of school. First staged in 2000 at Company B Belvoir (now Belvoir), the issues and ideas about being newly arrived in Australia, the first day at school, making friends and meeting challenges are still relevant.

STAGING: The cast take on the roles of first day preppies, schoolyard bullies, jokers and best friends, as well as parents and teachers. It can be staged with six performers or expanded out to a larger ensemble who can play the many minor roles, and additional cast members can create the set and environment.

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024