Plays and playwrights go in and out of fashion but some endure and speak to each subsequent generation. Lawler’s much loved tale of Queensland cane cutters and Melbourne barmaids has endured, not through nostalgia, nor because it spawned a new age in Australian writing, but because the characters and their dilemmas are so true, so beautifully observed, so humorous and so poignant.
A triumph at its 1955 Melbourne premiere, it was followed by a national tour and hugely successful season in London’s West End where it won an award for best new play.
For sixteen years two Queensland cane cutters have worked the punishing routine up north in the sugar cane fields for seven months of the year and travelled back to Melbourne to meet up for five months of partying and romance with their barmaid girlfriends. This seventeenth summer everything is different. One of the barmaids has ‘settled down’ and married a city bloke so a replacement date has had to be found. This ‘off-season’ proves challenging for them all.
This production will be directed by the award-winning Denny Lawrence whose history with HIT includes many successful productions including Shirley Valentine, Always…Patsy Cline, Educating Rita, Glorious! Hotel Sorrento and most recently, My Brilliant Divorce. Denny will be supported by a highly-experienced creative team.
Age Recommendation: Suitable for ages 15+. Adult themes.
Duration: Approx. 2.5 hours including interval
The Venue: Ulumbarra Theatre
Meaning ‘gather together’ or ‘meeting place’ in the language of the local Dja Dja Wurrung people, Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre rises majestically from what was once the Sandhurst Gaol.More about Ulumbarra Theatre
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G.S.T. included where applicable.