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Currency Press - 1960s

Ham Funeral, The
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Ham Funeral, The

OUT OF PRINT

Patrick White
 
An early expressionist drama written in 1948 which explores the spiritual forces that propel us forward. The play created controversy when it was rejected for the 1962 Adelaide Festival of Arts by a Board who thought it was too 'difficult' for the general public to understand. Its premiere production by the Adelaide University Theatre Guild in November 1961 was acclaimed by critics and audiences and it transferred to Sydney.The production encouraged White to write further plays.

Set in a squalid British boarding house, the play tells the story of a young poet, who lodges with Mr and Mrs Lusty, a bloated, gluttonous pair. When her husband dies abruptly, Mrs Lusty announces a grand funeral featuring a lavish feast, in his honour. Driven by her incontinent appetite, she attempts to seduce the young poet, with comically tragic consequences.

The Ham Funeral is now available in Patrick White Collected Plays Volume I.



    Resources
Cast : 6M, 4F
Performance Rights : beemobbs@bigpond.net.au
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-962-7 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Jack Hibberd: Selected Plays
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Jack Hibberd: Selected Plays

White with Wire Wheels / Dimboola / A Stretch of the Imagination

Jack Hibberd
 
Three early plays from Jack Hibberd which continue to be performed, studied and read for pleasure. 

White with Wire Wheels (1967)
Hibberd satirises the culture of masculinity expressed in cars, booze and work, a world in which women are marginalised and ultimately disposable. This provocative and unconventional comedy throws a spotlight on a society that can tolerate the intolerable.

   Resources

Dimboola (1969)
Playfully vulgar, bawdy and boisterous,  Dimboola plays out the wedding reception from hell, with the audience actively playing the roles of the guests. A celebration as much as a satire, the play joyously takes a familiar ritual and turns it uproariously on its head.

   Resources

A Stretch of the Imagination (1971)
Monk O’Neill, the lonely misanthropist has become an archetype of the Australian character since he first appeared on our stages in 1971.

Also published in   Plays of the 70s Volume 1

     

   Resources
Cast : White with Wire Wheels - 3M, 4F (doubling required) / Dimboola - 9M, 7F / A Stretch of the Imagination - 1M
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-632-9 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Norm and Ahmed
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Norm and Ahmed

Alex Buzo
 
‘Buzo has something real and immediate to say about Australian attitudes. He makes the audience uneasy about the unperceptiveness of an “average” Aussie confronted by a well-mannered, educated Pakistani student. Norm parades many of the proper, accepted attitudes which […] are shot through the fabric of the Australian character.’
Griffen Foley, Daily Telegraph, 10 April 1968

Written and performed in 1968, Norm and Ahmed was Alex Buzo’s first performed play. It gained immediate notice, both for Norm’s spectacular language and for the character of Ahmed, one of the first South Asian characters to feature in contemporary Australian theatre. Still alarmingly relevant in the twenty-first century, Norm and Ahmed has earned its place as a classic of Australian theatre due to its timeless themes and the heightened language, performance style and concern with the behaviour of Australians, its origins and causes that characterised the New Wave.

Features a critical response to Norm and Ahmed by Stephen Sewell, produced by Currency Press for its Cue the Chorus series.



  Resources
Single edition eBook available from

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Cast : 2M
Currency Press | 978-1-92500-528-8 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Plays of the 60s: Volume 1
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Plays of the 60s: Volume 1

Currency Modern Drama

Katharine Brisbane (ed)
 
Burst of Summer , by Oriel Gray (1960) 
A social-realist play dealing with racial prejudice set in a country milk bar. Suggested by the promotion of the Aboriginal actor Ngarla Kunoth, who played the title role in Charles Chauvel's  Jedda, the play explores a town divided over a new housing development for the Aboriginal population. Passions are stirred by press interest in Peggy, an Aboriginal girl who has won brief fame as a film actress; entrenched pastoral interests; envy and racism; and perceived Aboriginal fecklessness. Despite the intercessions of a local black lawyer and Joe, the 'dago' cafe owner, the summer heat busts into violence.

   Resources

The Well by Jack McKinney (1960)
A delightful country comedy that testifies to the impending end of the cultural isolation of rural life. 

   Resources

The Promised Woman, by Theodore Patrikareas (1963)
Possibly the first play by a post-war immigrant staged in Australia, The Promised Woman has also been produced in Greece. Set in a boarding house in Sydney's inner city suburb of Newtown, it captures the dislocation and problems of immigration as it tells the story of a strong young woman who finds a way to break free of traditional constraints. Displays the new world of the post-war immigrant.

   Resources

The Season at Sarsaparilla, by Patrick White (1962)
Patrick White described his play as 'a charade of suburbia'—a play of shadows, rather than substance. The neighbours of the play are held by their environment, waiting with determination, but little expectation, for the inevitable cycle of birth, copulation and death.
Cast : Burst of Summer - 7M, 2F / The Well - 7M, 2F / The Promised Woman - 7M, 4F / The Season at Sarsaparilla - 9M, 7F
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-545-2 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB
Plays of the 60s: Volume 2
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Plays of the 60s: Volume 2

Currency Modern Drama

Katharine Brisbane (ed)
 

This title is temporarily out-of-stock. Norm and Ahmed is now available in a single edition and can be ordered separately here.


'The years 1966-68 were at the cusp of reform', writes Brisbane. 'The writing here reflects a deep sense of the need for change.'

History, identity and racial attitudes reflect a growing diversity of opinion; but distinctive in this volume, argues Brisbane, 'is the sudden and spontaneous elevation of language'. In these few years a truly local form of contemporary theatre began to make itself felt. Included here are -

This Old Man Comes Rolling Home by Dorothy Hewett
 A play centred on family life in working-class Redfern in the 1950s which captures the colour, spirit and political character of the inner-city suburb. Hewett who lived in Redfern during the Cold War, wrote that her aim was 'to write of a self-contained world ... with its own language, its own folklore, its own values, its own ethos, to write of it with both realism and poetry'.

The Lucky Streak by James Searle
An exploration of the rhythms of the inarticulate, and the aggression, rooted in frustration, which can be present in the simplest of domestic conversations.

   Resources

Norm and Ahmed by Alex Buzo
A rather ocker, white Australian male encounters a well-mannered Pakistani student with revolutionary ambitions in a Sydney park at midnight. Buzo creates an image of race prejudice as a profoundly irrational force in the behaviour of ordinary Australians.


Resources
Single edition eBook available from


Private Yuk Objects  by Alan Hopgood
A rich portrait of Australia in the mid-1960s where, in the 1966 federal election,conscription and the Vietnam War were the major public issues.

     Resources

Cast : This Old Man Comes Rolling Home - 9M, 9F (doubling possible) / The Lucky Streak - 3M, 2F / Norm & Ahmed - 2M / Private Yuk Objects - 10M, 3F
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-550-6 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Plays of the 60s: Volume 3
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$34.99 inc GST

Plays of the 60s: Volume 3

Currency Modern Drama

Katharine Brisbane (ed)
 
In the late 1960s, student revolution spread like wildfire around the world as the post-war generation came to adulthood. In Australia, protests against the Vietnam War were mixed with a rebellious new political awareness.

The plays in this volume reflect the radicalism in public and private life which that period has come to represent. 

A Refined Look at Existence by Rodney Milgate
An ironic comedy drama which reworks Euripides’ The Bacchae, set in a NSW country town. Daring in form, this was possibly the earliest play to capture the emotional turbulence that characterised the 1960s.

   Resources

Chicago, Chicago, by  John Romeril
This play reflects the rebellious new political awareness that spread during the tumultuous years of the late 1960s.

   Resources

Burke's Company by Bill Reed
A 'play of disillusion', writes Katharine Brisbane, which looks at 'the blindness of European exploiters like Robert O'Hara Burke who failed to manage his company or listen to their voices; and refused to acknowledge the Aborigines' offers of salvation. Burke's dream is to conquer the land, by traversing it from south to north. He wants their exploits gloriously recorded in Wills' writings. A play about the moneyed class, for whom discipline is a tool of survival not always placed in the safest hands.

   Resources

The Front Room Boys , by Alex Buzo
An early play of Alex Buzo's which dramatises the predicament of office workers as it displays the author's preoccupation with language. One of his aims, he tells us in his playwright's note, 'was to recreate the rhythms of actual speech as well as to record and preserve the vivid expressions which you could hear everywhere except in the media or on the stage.'

   Resources
Cast : A Refined Look at Existence - 9M, 3F / Chicago, Chicago - 19M, 5F (doubling possible) / Burke's Company - 9M / The Front Room Boys - 7M, 2F
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-562-9 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB