- Paperback: 109 pages
- Publisher: Dramatic Publishing; Acting edition (February 27, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871293420
- ISBN-13: 978-0871293428
- Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.8 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Our Country's Good Acting Edition
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"Wertenbaker has searched history and found in it a humanistic lesson for hard modern times: rough, sombre, undogmatic and warm" The Sunday Times "Highly theatrical, often funny and at times dark and disturbing, it sets an infant civilization on the stage with clarity, economy and insight" The Daily Telegraph, Charles Spencer --The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Timberlake Wertenbaker was born in France and was Resident Writer for 'Shared Experience' in 1983 and the Royal Court Theatre 1984-85. She is best known for her play Our Country's Good (1988), based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally. First performed at the Royal Court in 1988, it was awarded the Laurence Olivier/BBC Award for Best New Play, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play and was nominated for six 'Tonies'.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.