The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit And Other Plays

By Ray Bradbury

Rating: 3 stars

This is a small collection of three short one-act plays that Bradbury wrote in the 1970s that I was completely unaware of, although in saying that, I recognise both the title play (The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit) and one other (The Veldt) as short stories. I don’t know if they started off as plays and were converted, or the other way around but both still work very well as plays. I’m not so experienced at reading plays but it does feel like there’s dialogue but not much in the way of stage direction.

The title play follows six young Latino immigrant workers who pool their resources and buy a single white suit that they share out amongst themselves. It’s about friendship and poverty and what can be learned through sharing and is a sweet little play. The Veldt is an altogether darker affair. It has themes of parental affection, misuse of technology and the tension between work and family life. The final play, To the Chicago Abyss has elements of Fahrenheit 451, although from a different perspective.

I would love to see these performed, just to see how they’d work on stage, rather than on the page, especially the technological magic of The Veldt. Even without that, though, they’re still very enjoyable to read.

Book details

ISBN: 9780553115826
Publisher: Bantam
Year of publication: 1972

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