By Debra Downey, Senior Editor
Scriptwriter Robert Knuckle examines the professionally successful but personally tragic Ernest Hemingway in his latest production at the Garstin Centre for the Arts.
Hemingway And His Women, written by Dundas resident Knuckle and directed by Willard Boudreau takes to the stage May 22-24 and 29-31 at 8 p.m. Matinees are planned for Saturdays at 2 p.m.
“It’s funny, it’s sad and it’s very revealing,” Knuckle said of his latest work.
In Hemingway And His Women, a magazine writer interviews Papa and his fourth wife, Mary Welsh, about the several significant women in Hemingway’s life. Failing and irascible, Hemingway reluctantly complies with the writer’s request. As he does so, the audience presented with the substance of the play.
“(Hemingway) was extremely gifted and, like most celebrities, he was larger than life,” said Knuckle. “Professionally, he was very successful; personally, he was a tragic figure. He drank to excess and was recklessly hard on his body. ”
Before writing the play, Knuckle spent a year reading almost everything Hemingway wrote, including the Toronto Star articles penned in the 1920s.
Knuckle also visited Hemingway’s home in Key West and Sloppy Joe’s Bar where the author was known to have a drink or two. He travelled to Havana, Cuba, and visited Hotel La Floridita where Hemingway lived, and popped into some of the cafés in Paris the author liked to frequent. While in Venice, Knuckle also visited Harry’s Bar.
Knuckle said Hemingway was often unsettled and dissatisfied and constantly needed attention and praise. And although he was able to attract many women to his side, he was unable to sustain a lasting relationship.
Hemingway And His Women is Knuckle’s 11th play and the sixth that has been produced at various venues.
Tickets are $20 and are available at Bryan Prince Bookseller, 905-528-4508, or call 905-628-0220 or 905-627-5266.