by Michael Andrew Collins

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by Michael Andrew Collins

Members of a religious sect calling themselves “the family of the book” plan to
steal the corpses from a body farm — a forensic facility in which donated human bodies are left to deteriorate in the open in order to study decay — and give them a proper, religious burial.

One of the members of the family (4) recruits the sister (Sarah) of one of the bodies they intend to rescue, in order offer her the chance to say goodbye. An outsider to the religion, Sarah agrees to help out of her dissatisfaction with her brother’s death and choice of burial.

The family plans meticulously for several months, but on the night they actually attempt the heist nothing goes to plan. It is raining, members are late, in the wrong costume, there aren’t any olives to eat beforehand, etc.

When they actually arrive at the body farm the whole plan falls apart again. Police arrive and only a few members of the family, along with all the corpses, make it back to the hideout. There, they attempt to piece together what went wrong. Accusations fly, ethnic and political tensions flare up, and the carefully articulated veneer of the religion the family has created begins to crumble as the police close in and the circumstances through which the family has been betrayed become clear.

This title appears in:

Griffin Award for New Australian Playwriting (2016 nominee)

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