A State Theatre Company of South Australia production, in association with Essington Productions.
July 18 – August 9, 1986
Geoff Gibbs: Essington Lewis
David Wood: Taffy Williams
John Doyle: John Lewis, Guillaume Delprat
Jonathan Biggins: Mad Prophet, Jerome Murif, King O,Malley, Bowes Kelly, Boxer, Barrowman, Guggenheim Jnr
Andrew James: Harold Darling
Julie Hudspeth: Madge Elliott, Yound Lady, Mrs Lewis
Allan McFadden: Judge, David Baker, Cecil Hoskins
Terence Crawford: Teacher, Hugo Mueke, McKay, Usher, Salesman
Louise Blackwell: Miss Jones, Bowing Ring Girl, Blodwyn Williams
Tom Rennie: Policeman
Children, onlookers, workers, “Sallies:’ Members, migrants played by the Company
Special thanks to Joyce Anderson for use of her Greyhound.
“John O’Donoghue’s script … the writing has such vitality and clarity, the performances such energy and enthusiasm, that the audience is swept along by the momentum of it all. But the show’s impact and effectiveness must be attributed largely to director Aarne Neeme and his ability to respond to the range of styles and forms in O’Donoghue’s text. The script combines dramatic biography, history, revue, cabaret, agit-prop and epic theatre: the play is studded with comic cameos and songs of political or nostalgic/reflective genres.” Michael Morley, The National Times.
“Playwright John O’Donoghue has put together a tremendous portrait of a giant of industry from the Australia of old, full of resoluteness and unquestioning nationalistic pride. Aarne Neeme puts together the dozens of scenes so that they flow at a tremendous pace, yet everyone of them pays off: the songs, the jokes, the flourishes, and the dramatic muscles of the piece are all well considered and revealed. … Allan McFadden’s music and lyrics, which are stirring and beautifully sung by the cast … Brian Nickless’ setting, which is enormously powerful without intruding on the performance. The offsetting of a stage covered in steel rails and “ore” which crunches underfoot, against a huge metallic backdrop, is inspired.” Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser
“… is an absorbing, entertaining and highly original piece of theatre … just as impressive, though moving father than funny, was the song that brought the play to an end. In fact my only complaint was I wanted to hear more singing – so good was it.” Andrew Tobin, Sunday Mail