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Our Country's Good Acting Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The last reviewer, who stated the play as `stupid', obviously has no imagination and knows little about the underlying themes and context within each character and the play as a whole.
Rich, funny, haunting, and deeply moving, Wertenbaker has searched history and found a humanistic parable for our harsh modern era: theatre is what makes us human in the face of absolute cruelty.
"Our Country's Good" is definitely a must-read and see for anyone who believes in the ability of the theatre to move and change lives.
Two great characters with interesting experiences and philosophies are Ketch and Captain Phillip. Ketch is a prisoner who was given the choice "hang or be hanged." He chose to become a hangman and earned the scorn of his fellow prisoners. In later stages of the play, we learn about his sad (unfair) background.
Captain Phillip is the real gem of this play. He was a retired British Naval officer who was asked to become the Governor of Australia and oversee the penal colony and the building of the society. He urges Lt. Clark to put on a play using the prisoners in order to show them and others that they are human. The second scene in Act Two contains one of the great dialogues in modern theater.
A hint of it:
Phillip: If you break conventions, it's inevitable you make enemies, Lieutenant. This play irritates them.
Ralph: Yes and I --
Phillip: Socrates irritated the state of Athens and was put to death for it.
Ralph: Sir --
Phillip: Would you want a world without Socrates?
Ralph: Sir --
Philip: In the Meno, one of Plato's great dialogues, have you read it, Lieutenant, Socrates demonstrates that a slave boy can learn the principles of geometry as well as a gentleman.
Ralph: Ah --
Phillip: In other words, he shows that human beings have an intelligence which has nothing to do with the circumstances into which they are born.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Difficult play, vibrant take on Australian immigration snatched from the streets and cries of London and shipped out in the First Fleet of 6 ships of convicts. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Virgil C. Johnson