3rd, 4th and 5th December 2009
”1789, June 4. The anniversary of His Majesty's birthday, the second time of commemorating it in this country, was observed with every distinction in our power; for the first time, the ordnance belonging to the colony were discharged; the detachment of marines fired three volleys, which were followed by twenty-one guns from each of the ships of war in the cove; the governor received the compliments due to the day in his new house, of which he had lately taken possession as the government-house of the colony, where His Excellency afterwards entertained the officers at dinner, and in the evening some of the convicts were permitted to perform Farquhar's comedy of the Recruiting Officer, in a hut fitted up
for the occasion. They professed no higher aim than 'humbly to excite a smile,' and their efforts to please were not unattended with applause.”
This small note extracted from Davy Collins’ (Captain of the Royal Marines and Advocate General) journal (An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales), serves as the heart of
the plot behind Thomas Keneally’ novel The Playmaker, and is the basis for the play ‘Our Country’s Good’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker.
Our Country's Good is set in late 18th century and tells the heart-rending story of British convicts and Royal Marines transported to Australia to establish the first penal colony.
Following the plot line of a 'play within a play', it follows Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark's attempts to stage a production of George Farquhar's restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer with a cast of male and female convicts.
Cast of Characters:
Directed by David Andrews
Produced by Daniel Scuka and Bruno Sousa
Stage Design and Construction by Nigel Link
Light and Sound by Stefano de Padova, David Graham and Daniel Scuka
Costumes by Mark and Moira Grundy
Graphics by Bruno Sousa