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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
 

Written with students from the EORA Centre in Redfern in 1990, some of whom were members of the Stolen Generation, Close to the Bone is a story about a family’s survival in the face of adversity. Moving from the Mission to Redfern and back again, it celebrates Redfern’s role in providing a focal point for dislocated Indigenous Australians. The play also honours the role EORA played in bringing people together and linking them with family. It was first performed by EORA students at the old Centre in the heart of Redfern. It was directed by Lydia Miller, David Kennedy and Rhoda Roberts with music by Scott Saunders and Karen Vaughan.

Close to the Bone is a large cast play that is suitable for students of all ages and youth groups.

‘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)

              
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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
 

Luck of the Draw, produced by Brisbane’s Kooemba Jdarra and subsequently by the Darwin Theatre Company, is a play about Indigenous survival and identity.

Written as a response to the Howard Government’s refusal to offer an apology, Luck of the Draw is a hard hitting play that deals with the tragic consequences of the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families. It focuses on the impact this policy had on both the parents who lost their children and the children who lost their identity. It confronts the issue of identity from the perspective of a fair skinned Indigenous woman who has been raised in a white middle class family and discovers she is Indigenous.

Luck of the Draw is based on Ned Manning’s experiences at the EORA Centre in Redfern in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. It draws heavily on his own children’s experiences in being accepted as Indigenous on the strength of their heritage and identification rather than their skin colour.

'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