Adapted for the stage by Vancouver author, playwright, and actor Leslie Mildiner, Coming Up for Air captures pre-war anxiety, tension between nostalgia and progress and deals with similar political and societal themes of Orwell’s masterwork “1984.”
The award-winning Cuffling portrays George Bowling, an insurance salesman who makes an escape from “Hilda and the kids” in London for a few days following a win at the races. George visits his boyhood village in an attempt to recapture childhood innocence, but finds it changed beyond recognition by the effects of modern life. His feelings of loss are intensified by the threat of war looming on the horizon.
First published in June 1939, Coming Up For Air combines premonitions of the impending war with images of an idyllic Thames-side Edwardian era childhood. The story is pessimistic, with its view that speculative builders, commercialism, and capitalism are killing the best of rural England, “everything cemented over”, and there are great new external threats.
Coming Up For Air is a Kay Meek + One-O-One Productions presentation. More information and tickets can be found here.