Opening Night: Friday 4 October, 1985
Steve Jacobs: Essington Lewis
David Wood: Taffy Williams
Jonathan Biggins: Mad Prophet; Jerome Murif; James Kinla; King O”Malley;
Bowes Kelly; Boxer; Barrowman; Elmer Dwight Guggenheim, Jnr.
John Doyle: John Lewis; Guillame Delprat; Justice Curlewis
Allan McFadden: Harold Darling
Julie Hudspeth: Madge Elliott; Young Lady; Mueke; McKay; Miss Jones;
Blodwyn Williams; Mrs Lewis.
Andrew James: Teacher; Judge; Leader NSW Labour Govt; David Baker;
Salesman; Cecil Hoskins.
Tom Rennie: Policeman.
Children, onlookers, workers, “Sallies”, Members, migrants played by the company.
Essington (Steve Jacobs) meets Taffy (David Wood) out walking his greyhound
Review Banner: The Bully Boss arrives in style at last.
“This exciting piece of theatre is from and of the Hunter Valley … this is no provincial piece of community art. It is theatre of national importance … why Sydney should have had to wait five years to see it is beyond my comprehension… It must be seen … In the beginning the play implicitly makes the big connections which it will develop. One is between the boss, as part visionary, part bully, and the artisan, part optimist, part dupe. Another is between the anomalies of love and hate and of individualism and interdependence. A third is between the individualism of the last century, with its utopianism, its religious faith and its work ethic and the organisation values of this century.
Mr Neeme’s production is as enthralling as its subject.
I repeat: it must be seen.”
Harry Kippax (Sydney Morning Herald. 8 October, 1985.)
“It’s richly absorbing stuff … ebullient, knockabout, larrikan vaudeville style, so popular and productive in Australian theatre … here refined, still very much an entertainment, but also a rich theatrical portrait.”
Brian Hoad (The Bulletin. 22 October, 1985)
“The play itself is a knockout. It is a most important contribution to Australian theatre, a play with guts and humour … a dynamic work which is easily the best thing I have seen at The Stables.”
John Pierce (Daily Telegraph)
“A boisterous, energetic production … helped by a strong cast …By the end you feel you’ve witnessed an enlivening, informative, humorous and uplifting theatrical event. Quite simply, you’d be mad to miss it.”
Colin Menzies (The Australian)
“This is surely one of the best pieces of Australian theatre writing for some years. It has enormous vigour, intelligence and humour … it is true epic theatre. A narrative mixed with verbal, musical and visual comments, it provokes its audience into confronting issues rather than preaching to them. It is splendid entertainment, which never compromises its more serious intentions.”
Paul McGillick (The National Times 11 October, 1985)
“It is a remarkable achievement … it paints a broad and popular picture, it delights in humour and song. It is generous, human and bold.”
Frank Gauntlett (Daily Mirror)