Four early expressionist dramas, produced between 1961 and 1964, in which Patrick White explores the spiritual forces that propel us forward.
The Ham Funeral
An early expressionist drama written in 1948 which explores the spiritual forces that propel us forward. The play created controversy when it was rejected for the 1962 Adelaide Festival of Arts by a Board who thought it was too 'difficult' for the general public to understand. Its premiere production by the Adelaide University Theatre Guild in November 1961 was acclaimed by critics and audiences and it transferred to Sydney. The production encouraged White to write further plays.
The Season at Sarsaparilla
Patrick White described his play as "a charade of suburbia" - a play of shadows, rather than substance. The neighbours of the play are held by their environment, waiting with determination, but little expectation, for the inevitable cycle of birth, copulation and death.
Also published in Plays of the 60s: Volume 1
A Cheery Soul
White examines what he called "the sin of goodness" in his relentlessly cheerful character, Miss Docker.
Night on Bald Mountain
Banned in his own lifetime by the author himself, Night on Bald Mountain returned to the stage in 1996. This poetic thriller, written in the shadow of the atomic bomb, explores the heart and the intellect in a study of misplaced love and desire. Deliberations on the individual’s place in society are the subject of a motley gathering, comprised of a goat-farming eccentric, a professor and his alcoholic wife, a nurse and a pair of hikers.