Not in Print: playwrights off script - on inspiration, process and theatre itself

An Ever Changing Idiom - Alana Valentine’s response to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, by Ray Lawler

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Alana Valentine reads her response to Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler. It’s called An Ever-Changing Idiom and features in the Currency Press series, Cue the Chorus, in which an assortment of respected Australian playwrights respond to the work of their peers. You can download all the responses in the series from our website - currencypress.com.au


A little bit about Alana Valentine. She is one of Australia’s most renowned and respected writers. Valentine writes for the stage, screen, radio and multimedia projects, but is perhaps best known for her plays. She is well known for her rigorous use of research within the community she is writing about. Her work for the stage includes Run Rabbit Run, Parramatta Girls, Cyberbile, Ear to the Edge of Time and Comin’ Home Soon. She has received numerous awards, both in Australia and internationally.

Neighbourhood Watch: hope, death and pets l Australian theatre - comedy

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It’s a classic odd-couple story. Meet Ana—a battle hardened Hungarian-Australian veteran of the twentieth century. Catherine is her neighbour: twenty-something and waiting for a better world. Can their unlikely friendship outlive the colossal forces of history, the inevitability of death, and a trip to the mall to see Mamma Mia?

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Lally Katz is one of Australia’s most intriguing playwrights. She is also one of the country’s most performed playwrights. A graduate of the University of Melbourne, Lally also studied playwriting at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Her plays include Frankenstein, The Black Swan of Trespass, The Eisteddfod, Criminology and Goodbye New York, Goodbye Heart. Her 2009 play, Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd, received the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. A Golem Story won the same award in 2012. Other awards include several Green Room and Melbourne Fringe Awards, as well as a New York International Fringe Festival Producer’s Choice Award.

Rainbow’s End: What’s the definition of a hero? l Thought-provoking Australian theatre

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Set in the 1950s on the fringe of a country town, Rainbow’s End is a thought-provoking, often hilarious and emotionally powerful snapshot of a Koori family - Nan Dear, her daughter Gladys and Gladys’ daughter Dolly; it dramatises their struggle for decent housing, meaningful education, jobs and community acceptance.

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Jane Harrison is an indigenous Australian writer and playwright. A descendant of the Muruwari people of New South Wales, from the area around Bourke and Brewarrina, Harrison grew up in the Victorian Dandenongs with her mother and sister. She began her career as an advertising copywriter, before beginning work as a writer with the Ilbijerri Theatre Company. In the late 90s, Harrison was commissioned by Ilbijerri to write Stolen, about the Stolen Generations. The play premiered in ‘98, and was followed by seven annual seasons in Melbourne, plus extensive national and international tours.

The Shoe-horn Sonata: digging up the past l Award-winning Australian theatre

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In 1945 Sheila and Bridie were freed from a Japanese POW camp deep in the jungles of Sumatra where thousands of women and children had lived and died virtually forgotten by their own governments. Now, after being separated for half a century, the filming of a television documentary forces them to relive the past, contact the present and question the future.


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After working as a solicitor, John Misto changed direction; he decided to become a writer. That career change eventually led to The Shoe-Horn Sonata. It is dense, shocking and poignant - a piece of narrative non-fiction that depicts real life events with a solicitors’ attention to factual detail and a storyteller’s understanding of how emotional truths must be drawn out through narrative construction. The play won the 1995 NSW Premier’s Literary Award, but John was (perhaps) more satisfied that it had rung true for the WWII nurses whose story he was sharing with the world.