The central character in The Anniversary is Mum whose possessiveness is a killer. She is thoroughly evil and glories in destroying all that is good, kind and pure. Not being able to enjoy such qualities herself, she’s damned if anyone else will. According to Bill McIlwraith, the writer, this woman would never have been drowned a witch; she would have been crowned Queen.
Since Dad thankfully died, Mum has carried on his building business and has increased the profits by two hundred and fifty per cent. Yet as Tom, her youngest son, says: “We must be the only builders putting up condemned property”
Mum keeps a tight hold on all her three sons, binding them to her with gifts and threats, and exploits their weaknesses with a ruthlessness second to none.
But as the family is brought together to celebrate Mum’s wedding anniversary (notwithstanding the fact that Dad’s already dead), revolt is in the air. One son plucks up the courage to announce that he’s taking his wife and family to Canada and Tom breaks the news of his impending marriage. Pause for breath.
Mum fights back with every weapon in her formidable armoury.