By Dave Carley

Factory Theatre 2003

Orchidelirium is a hothouse hybrid of fact and fiction, research and hypothesis, scent and sex. The name of the flower itself is derived from the Greek word 'orchis', meaning testis. Through their resemblance to human and animal sexual organs, orchids were thought to stimulate lust. In fact, it was long believed that the flowers sprang from the spilled semen of mating animals.


For the Victorian Alice O'Keefe, who established one of America's great collections of orchids, the delirium leads to environmental disaster. For Frances O'Keefe, the hothouse her ancestry built and which she fiercely protects, will once again fill with the flower of legend - and orchidelirium.

Orchidelirium is two acts in length and has a cast of four (2f/2m). The setting is the Orchid House at the O'Keefe Conservatory. The time is 1895 and the present.
Original Cast: Joel Hechter, Anne Page, Patrick Gallaghan, Tanja Jacobs.

OrchideliriumSelected Press:

Toronto Star
"Dave Carley has never been one to shy away from unusual subject matter. His new play Orchidelirium plunges us into the hothouse world of the orchid-obsessed… It is a rich and satisfying evening of whimsy."

Toronto Sun
"Carley interweaves his disparate tales and times into an impressive whole cloth."