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The Torrents  

The Torrents $20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

'A printing office of a newspaper is no place for a member of the female sex.'

1890s, regional Australia.

Koolgalla is a gold town, but the gold rush is beginning to wane. In the office of the Koolgalla Argus, the editors must decide between protecting old interests and investing in the farmland of the future. The new editorial assistant, J. G. Milford, arrives—but it turns out the ‘J’ stands for Jenny.

The Torrents is a forgotten classic. In 1955 it was the co-winner, with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, of the Playwrights’ Advisory Board’s award for Best Play. Yet while Lawler’s play is considered a defining feature of Australian theatre, The Torrents is underappreciated and was perhaps ahead of its time. Currency Press is proud to re-publish this crucial work, whose themes of media chauvinism, environmental destruction and corrupt powers are chillingly relevant today.

Features a new introduction by Anne-Louise Sarks (available to read).


Cast : 2F, 11M

Currency Press | 978-1-92500-595-0 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB


ORIEL GRAY (1920-2003) was born in Sydney in 1920. In 1937 she became a member of the Sydney New Theatre and later the Communist Party. During her time with the New Theatre she became their resident writer, organising and writing their radio show as well as writing numerous revues, agit-prop plays, one-act plays and four full length plays, all of which were performed by the New Theatre. These plays were Marx of Time (1942), Let’s Be Offensive (1943),  Lawson (1943), W estern Limit (1946), My Life is My Affair (1947), Had We But World Enough (1950), Sky Without Birds (1951), all at Sydney New Theatre; Drive A Hard Bargain (1957) and The Torrents (1957) for Adelaide New Theatre. Oriel left the New Theatre when she left the Communist Party after becoming disillusioned with the party’s policies. In 1954 The Torrents shared the renowned Playwright’s Advisory Board prize along with Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Her last play, Burst of Summer won the J.C. Williamson Theatre Guild Competition in 1958. Oriel Gray has also written for radio and television. She has written scripts for Rush and The Sullivans as well as working for twelve years as a script writer on Bellbird. Her autobiography Exit Left: Memoirs of a Scarlet Woman was published in 1985. Her novel Animal Shop was published in 1990.

By Oriel Gray, from Currency Press - see all