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Author Profile

Biography

NED MANNING is a writer, actor and teacher. He has written many plays for adults and young people. Among his published plays are Us or Them, Milo, Close to the Bone and Luck of the Draw as well as short plays in the anthologies Short Circuit and No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames. Other plays for adults include Kenny’s Coming Home and Last One Standing. His latest play, Tsunami, was shortlisted for the STC’s Patrick White Award in 2015.

Ned’s plays for young people include Alice Dreaming, Gods of War, Women of Troy (adapted from Euripides’ original drama, The Trojan Women) and Shakespeare for Australian Schools. He was nominated for an AWGIE for Romeo and Juliet Intensive, a play for young people that moves between Shakespeare’s world and contemporary Australia. The script was written for The Bell Shakespeare Company’s Actors at Work program, and toured all over Australia.

His radio adaptation of Women of Troy was nominated for the Prix Marulic Festival of Radio Drama in Croatia in 2013. Ned’s first work of nonfiction, Playground Duty, is a celebration of the teaching profession and a survival guide for young teachers.

As an actor, Ned has appeared in some of Australia’s most loved film, television and theatre productions including: Looking for Alibrandi, Offspring, The Shiralee, Bodyline and Aftershocks. He starred in the 1980’s cult classic Dead End Drive-In. His latest appearance was in the 2014 feature film, The Menkoff Method.

Ned has worked as a teacher and dramaturg, designing playwriting courses for youth and adults. He is committed to working with playwrights of all ages and providing them with support and professional guidance.

Close to the Bone
$20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

Close to the Bone

Ned Manning
 

Close to the Bone deals with the forced adoptions of Aboriginal children taken from their families to live as white children.

In the 1960s before the referendum on full citizenship rights for Aboriginal people in 1967, a little girl is taken from her mother. In the 1990s as a young woman, she discovers by chance that she is adopted and Aboriginal.

Developed by Ned Manning with his students at the Eora Centre, the Aboriginal Visual and Performing Arts College in Redfern, NSW, the play relates one aspect of recent Aboriginal history in a moving and sympathetic way, using humour to highlight the story.

‘This play presents the issue of the stolen generations with an authentic Aboriginal voice and gives a powerful impression of the continuing human impact of bureaucratic decisions on Aboriginal families, both in the past and now. The New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group fully supports and endorses the publication of this play.’  Linda Burney, President, NSW AECG

Cast : 11F, 4F, doubling possible
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-389-2 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ
Kenny's Coming Home
$20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

Kenny's Coming Home

Ned Manning
 
Kenny’s Coming Home is a play with music that celebrates life in Sydney’s Western suburbs.

The Green family escape inner-city Sydney in the early 1990s for a better life out west. Dad grows zucchinis and involves himself in local politics. Aunt Dorothy and Mum find the community they have been missing in the big smoke. Son Kenny leads the Panthers to rugby league glory and is ordained a local legend as a result. Daughter Kim is caught between a rock and a hard place as she tries to make sense of her teenage years.

All hell breaks loose when the local MP drops dead playing squash. Dad decides to seek pre-selection for the Labor Party and tries to co-opt Kenny for support. The family are opposed to his plans. Then they start actively campaigning against him …

‘Kenny’s Coming Home is a shining example of community theatre [...] The political agenda of Ned Manning’s play is serious: the loss of humanist ideals, the sacrifice of principles to pragmatism, but the message that comes through the music and the production is that it’s all in the cause of a foot-tapping, broad-grinning, hand-clapping good time.’   Bob Evans,
Sydney Morning Herald (1991)
Cast : 3F, 2M
Currency Press | 978-1-92500-596-7 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ | PB
Luck of the Draw
$20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

Luck of the Draw

Ned Manning
 
Produced by Brisbane's Indigenous Company, Kooemba Jdarra and the Darwin Theatre Company, Luck of the Draw is a hard hitting look at the consequences of the forced removal of the children who became known as the Stolen Generation.

The play not only charts the gut wrenching story of a family divided but also investigates issues of identity and connection.

'A mesmerising piece of theatre.'  The Australian
Cast : 3F, 4M
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-635-0 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ
Milo/Kingaroy
$27.26 ex GST
$29.99 inc GST

Milo/Kingaroy

OUT OF PRINT

Ned Manning/Martin Buzacott
 

Milo

Milo and Di live on a hobby farm—he is a pipe-dreaming visionary and she cuts the mustard in a high-powered job in Foreign Affairs. A visit from an old mate and drought-battered farmer, Toby, and his long suffering wife Peg, precipitates a thunderstorm of pent-up fury.

New ideas are exposed as useless without the old bush tenacity and vice versa. With outrageous humour and an unfailing sense of self-depreciation Manning tackles the big issues facing modern Australia. 

   Resources

Kingaroy

The carnival comes to town, and with it the usual assortment of drifters and oddballs. The host of the rodeo championship finals at his horse stud outside Kingaroy is Rhett Perkins: Aboriginal, Vietnam veteran and former country and western singer. Upon this stage, the heavens conspire to draw together a group of individuals who, although strangers to one another, are interconnected by a distant and extraordinary past.

A fast-paced, lighthearted drama of identity, centring on a rodeo. Religion, Aboriginal mythology and a mechanical bull all play a role in unravelling the complex relationships of the play’s characters.

   Resources

Cast : Kingaroy - 3M, 4F / Milo - 2M, 2F
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-458-5 | Sales rights: worldwide | PB