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Orange Flower Water

by Craig Wright

It's been a while since a play made me cry.

This play isn't particularly sad. Unless you consider the destruction of two marriages sad. What I mean, I guess, is that the tone of the piece isn't sad.

Let's backtrack.

Orange Flower Water tells the tale of an affair between Cathy's husband David, and Brad's wife Beth. This affair begins as sneaking around, escalates, causing two divorces, and culminates in the birthing of a beautiful child, Lily. The play gets its name from a story that Beth tells David, one night (pre-divorce) when they're together.
Last night, I was thinking.. you and I and Lily.. That's her name, in my head. Lily. She was, like, four years old, with long dark hair and really serious eyes and smart? And we went to the store at Christmastime to get stuff to make cookies - and on the way home, she was in her car seat and she reached in the bag and pulled out a little plastic bottle of orange flower water? Which I've read about in Gourmet, you know, but never seen? And she ended up spilling this orange flower water stuff all over the back seat. And you and I had to roll down the windows, the scent was so strong... And the scent of the orangey air and the coolness rushing into the car and you and me happy and Lily in the back... giggling... we were so happy. We were so happy.
Ultimately, this play is about a child that results from adultery. It is about dreams that come true, but come with a price. It is about happiness that causes pain. It is about love.

It's a beautiful story that left me thinking - at what price? Do we have the right to true love if it means hurting others? Does a certain amount of fault get cancelled out? And what about the child's shame? When she asks the story of her parents' love - will she feel guilty? Basically, at what price love?

Tomorrow's Play: Inana by Michele Lowe

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