Production still for "The Next Greatest Pleasure". Frederick Parslow as Sebastian (left). Photographer: David Parker
The Next Greatest Pleasure
By Don Scott
13 October 1978 – 18 November 1978 Playbox Theatre
Hoopla Theatre Foundation,
New Writing Theatre
Billed as a funny and moving examination of the gambler's ethos and the Australian tradition, Don Scott's play is set in the hours leading up the running of the Melbourne Cup. The action revolves around Sebastian O'Brien (Frederick Parslow), an SP bookmaker who decides he must knobble the favourite after an overwhelming number of bets have been placed on it. Meanwhile, his public and private lives are falling apart, which he avoids by escaping into fantasies involving great gamblers of old, including Charles James Fox (Bruce Kerr), Dostoevsky (Terence Donovan) and the Marquis of Hastings (William Gluth).
"The greatest pleasure in life is to win. The next greatest pleasure in life is to lose."