Australian Plays for the Colonial Stage: 1834-1899

Australian Plays for the Colonial Stage: 1834-1899

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Author: Fotheringham, Richard
ISBN: 9780702234873
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Year First Published: 2006
Pages: 800
Dimensions: 222mm x 147mm x 63mm
Format: Hardback

From the mid-1830s until the end of the nineteenth century hundreds of plays were written and staged in the Australian colonies. The first known of these, Henry Melville's The Bushrangers, was performed by a mixed amateur and professional cast at Hobart's Argyle Assembly Rooms on 29 May 1834. By the end of the century at least six professional theatre companies were giving hundreds of performances of versions of The Kelly Gang to popular acclaim throughout the length and breadth of Australia. This Academy Edition presents the scripts of nine colonial plays, one of them in two versions. Beginning with Melville's short melodrama and ending with the best known of the Kelly Gang plays, first staged in 1899 in Sydney, the volume also contains a scurrilous satire Life in Sydney (1843), a pioneering romance Arabin; or, The Adventures of a Settler (1849), a short choral 'masque' The South-Sea Sisters (1866), a proto-nationalistic pantomime in Melbourne and Sydney versions The House that Jack Built (1869 and 1871), a city murder-mystery Hazard (1872), a comic-horror saga of a bush heroine For ₤60,000 (1874) and the first Australian stage classic, adapted in 1886 from Marcus Clarke's novel, For the Term of His Natural Life.

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