Plays of the 50s: Volume 1


Sky Without Birds
by Oriel Gray

A 3-act drama from 1950 dealing with isolation and prejudice against postwar immigrants set on a Nullarbor Plain railway siding. Written the year Gray left the Communist party, Sky Without Birds is the first play she wrote rebutting party beliefs and giving primacy to individual morality. Nevertheless, Gray retained her concern for the underprivileged.

by Douglas Stewart

Stewart, best known as a poet, was also a masterful verse dramatist. Shipwreck, written in 1951, recreates the infamous mutiny that occurred after the Dutch ship Batavia foundered off the northwest Australian coast in 1629. It is a complex and literary play which depicts with sympathy the anarchic mutineers Cornelius, Huyssen and Seevanck.

The Night of the Ding-Dong
by Ralph Peterson

The second play from Ralph Peterson, dating from 1954, is a comedy set in Adelaide at the time of the Crimean War, a time when the locals feared a Russian invasion.

The Day Before Tomorrow
by Ric Throssell

An anti-nuclear-war play from 1956 about a family of survivors following a nuclear war. Produced in Australian and also on the fringe of the Edinburgh Festival by the London Playgoers' Company.

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  • history
  • 16 to 18, 18+
  • adult, young adult
  • Currency Press


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