No play has been more important to the history of Australian theatre than Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
When it first hit the stage in 1955, it drew a unanimous response from audiences unused to seeing the Australian character so vividly represented.
‘So superbly true to Australian thought and the Australian scene that theatrical conventions disappear’, ‘untransplantably Australian’, ‘the Australian spirit springing from the deep heart of the characters’: these were some of the accolades.
Since then, the play has taken Australia’s name around the world and become part of the education of every schoolchild at home. Twenty years later, Ray Lawler returned to his lovable Carlton household and created two more plays: Kid Stakes, the story of the first doll, and Other Times, about the wartime winter which proved the turning point in the life of the characters.