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Our Country\'s Good
Our Country's Good
Olivier Award: Best Play

New York Drama Critics Award Best Foreign Play

BBC Award: West End Play of the Year
Comedy/Drama. By Timberlake Wertenbaker. Based on Thomas Keneally's novel The Playmaker.

Cast: 7m., 5w. (with doubling. Variations possible.) A leading London critic describes it as "highly theatrical, often funny and at times dark and disturbing, it sets an infant civilization on the stage with clarity, economy and insight [as] it relates the true story of the first theatrical performance in Australia." In June 1789 in the penal colony that was later to become the city of Sydney, a marine lieutenant decides to put on a play to celebrate the king's birthday. He casts the play with the English convicts who populate this distant Australian prison camp. Few of them can read, let alone act, and the play is being produced against a background of food shortages and barbaric punishments--brilliantly juxtaposed against the civilizing influence of theatrical endeavor. The "hangman," himself a convict, has been recruited along with a woman, wrongfully accused of stealing. Even as the play is being rehearsed, he measures her for a noose. Despite powerful and disturbing scenes,such as this, a London critic suggests "It's far from grim. Actually it's mostly funny!" "All people tend to become what society says they are! In performance the convicts challenge their definition." (The Times, London) The Guardian critic writes "Our Country's Good is a triumph...a tribute to the transforming power of drama...It is heartening to find someone standing up for theatre's unique spititual power." The Telegraph critic sums up, "In the shared delight of her convict cast in the production of the play, [Wertenbaker] suggests, that turns a prison camp into a country." Area staging.

Play details
Status:  (Subject to Restriction)
Type of show:  Full-Length
Catalog Code:  O42
Cast Size:  12
No. of Act(s):  2
Pages:  102
Royalty:  $75.00 /perf.*
Cost:  $9.25
Categories
Target Audience: High School | College and Adult
Performing Group: High Schools | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Stock & Lort
Genre: Comedy | Drama
ISBN (10): 0871293420
Biographies
Timberlake Wertenbaker's plays include Our Country's Good; The Grace of Mary Traverse (Royal Court, 1985); The Love of the Nightingale (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1989), which won the Eileen Anderson Central TV drama award; Three Birds Alighting on a Field (Royal Court, 1991), which won the Writers' Guild and Drama Circle Best West End Play Award 1991 and the Susan Smith ...More
Rights & Availability
This title can only be licensed/sold in the U.S. and Canada
* Please note that royalties quoted in our catalog are intended for K-12 schools with a standard curriculum only. All other producing groups must submit a completed application.


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