Author(s): Pauline Schokman
It is Friday the 24th September 1964 in Colombo and Greta van Buuren is excited about a party she is to attend, and a dress being created in her front room. She is unaware that her husband Jeff is planning their departure from Ceylon, and the day may see this in motion. Greta and Jeff are Burghers; a group of mixed racial origin, whose privileged life and position in society are ending as their newly independent nation struggles with bitter racial divides that have resurfaced. Greta's disturbance is revealed through her increasingly aggressive behavior towards her daughter and mother, together with the story of her past. She grapples to hide this from those around her, especially her husband. A Different Kind of Madness explores many forms of conflict, internal and external, as a newly independent nation teeters on the brink of civil war and a family realize they must flee the country they love. In the leaving, ruptures appear in their most vital relationships.