Robyn Nevin was horrible – and horribly funny – as Miss Docker in A Cheery Soul.
Robyn Nevin and Gillian Jones in A Cheery Soul, 2000, co-produced by STC and Belvoir St Theatre. Photo: Heidrun Löhr ©
An early review of Patrick White’s A Cheery Soul said it 'upset everybody who saw it'. But this extraordinary play, once a victim of 60s cultural cringe, marked a turning point in Australian theatre.
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is one of the most famous – and most revived – Australian plays of all time.
Melbourne Theatre Company/Jeff Busby
In 1955 two plays – The Torrents and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll – burst into Australian theatre. Funny and tragic in deeply Australian ways, they marked a new horizon of creative possibility.
‘Molly? Molly? MOLLY?’ Tony Barry as Keghead in Rusty Bugles.
ABC/National Film and Sound Archive
The best Australian play ever written is revolutionary in its treatment of plot, character and language. It has a weary, sardonic perspective on war and an unheroic worldview.
The Theatre Royal in Hobart, Australia’s oldest continuously operating theatre.
Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office/Flickr
The idea of a 'canon' changes over time and despite its elitist overtones, identifying one can be both illuminating and fun. In a new series, we nominate the best of Australian drama.
What mechanisms separate the art pantheon of Australia from the also-rans?
AAP Image/Sergio Dionisio
There are about 30,000 professional practicing visual artists in Australia today (see note). By professional, I mean exhibiting regularly in recognised commercial or public galleries and represented in…