This program will prove a major asset to those who work in, study or just enjoy the theatre of this country. It addresses the biggest hurdle to original work, even today: an understanding of, and interest in, our cultural history.

It was the 1920s, in the aftermath of the Great War, when we began to explore for the first time how the concept of being Australian (as opposed to British) might be expressed. And it took another fifty years before the post-World War II baby boomers reached their majority and set about making us a different Australia. The arrival of an Australian-born-and-bred theatre was a part of that.

Nimrod 50 gives a comprehensive picture of the aspiring writers from all states who answered Nimrod’s call; and will be followed by other collections for a similar purpose . Together they will be a vital social way for us to engage today’s minds in the task of building the miscellany into a received store of national drama of the kind on which other countries so gratefully depend. 

Currency Press published its first play, Macquarie by Alex Buzo, in 1971. The announcement of a publishing opportunity brought a shower of scripts from tiny theatres like Melbourne’s La Mama. Within eighteen months I was met by a long-haired streak called David Williamson, laden with three unperformed texts, among them The Removalists. It was a historic moment: the words flew off the page and we were on our way.

When a need is met a spark will soon be lit.  I look forward to watching the process fired by this Collection. Of the many texts I read in those early days the main thing I remember that hindered progress was an actors’ workshop edit and a decent period of development. We didn’t know how to do it then but we do now.


Katharine Brisbane

September 2020