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Wally by Greg Kramer


Wally Greene is the man behind the scenes, the creator of sets and properties for The Phoenix Theatre on Granville Island, of which his wife, Georgia, is the artistic director and oft-leading lady. As a favour to his old friend, Peggy McLean, who is dying, Wally has reluctantly agreed to take on her youngest son as an apprentice in his workshop as part of young Ned’s community service requirement for a misdemeanor.

Vancouver is a long way from Fishguard, Wales, where Wally Greene’s life was altered forever by the events of the Blitz. The arrival of the Chingford children, evacuees from London housed with Wally’s family, is the start of the strange and obsessive relationship with Peggy, and the Christmas treat of pantomime fires Wally’s passion for the world of the theatre. After the war, Wally attends theatre school in London and comes within the orbit of the highly promising actress, the ambitious and enigmatic New England heiress, Georgia Brandt. But the volatile-tempered young Welshman soon discovers that his true vocation in backstage — he is a Man of the Gaff, king of the world where left and right are reversed, where trapdoors and flats create illusions of solidity, and where you can become whoever you want.

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