OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD
by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by John Graham
23 September to 8 October 2016
1789. Sydney Cove. Supplies and morale are low. Governor Arthur Philip and some of his officers debate the purpose of imprisonment and the nature of criminals. When someone mentions that the convicts consider hanging to be "entertainment," Philip wonders if they could be offered something more civilised. Could they stage a play, perhaps? It would be good for them and for the colony, as a whole.
Ambitious young 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark, longing for his old life in London, offers to direct George Farquhar's comedy, The Recruiting Officer - in the face of opposition from his fellow officers, only two copies of the text, a cast of illiterate convicts, and one leading lady who may be about to be hanged.
With almost every character based on a real member of the First Fleet, Our Country's Good is a moving, and surprisingly funny, play about the possibility of redemption and the transforming powers of theatre.
Winner of both Olivier Awards and The New York Critics' Circle Awards for its West End and Broadway productions, and revived last year to rave reviews by the National Theatre in London, this is the true story of Australia's first theatrical production.
“Bursting with humanity, humour, heartache and passion”
The Telegraph, London, 2015
"A profoundly humane piece of theatre,
steeped in suffering yet charged with hope"
The National Theatre, London, 2015
Ralph Clark - Lee Cook
Gov. Arthur Philip - Peter Collins
Major Robbie Ross & Ketch Freeman - Dave Simms
Captain David Collins - Tim Williams
Midshipman Harry Brewer - David Greig
Captain Watkin Tench - Malcolm Walton
John Wisehammer & Lieut. Johnston - Jakob Maddocks
Robert Sideway & Lieut. Dawes - Nathan Brown
John Arscott & Capt. Jemmy Campbell - Patrick Marlin
Mary Brenham - Jean Collins
Dabby Bryant - Ellie McPhee
Liz Morden - Katherine Silbereisen
Duckling Smith - Kate van der Horst
Meg Long - Mo Johnson
Black Caesar & Australian Aboriginal - Jason Sardinha
Rev Johnson - John Graham