form y The Swagman single work   film/TV   thriller  
Issue Details: First known date: 1965 1965
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Deals with the interactions of a 'xenophobic tramp and an English wife (June Thody) on a lonely sheep station, faced with temptation in the form of a handsome young Australian-born Italian labourer. Apart from the inclusion of an irrelevant character, the play opens tautly with not a moment wasted in creating the setting for a night of adultery. The arrival of the swagman (portrayed brilliantly by Edward Hepple) introduces a Pinteresque situation in which he slowly insinuates himself further and further, disrupting the couple's hoped-for night of solitary domesticity.'

Source: 'U.K. Playwright, Long Range View' (see Works About).

Notes

  • Television play.
  • Note on authorship:

    After the episode aired, there was some discussion in newpapers regarding how a British script-writer came to submit a script set in Australia for an Australian-made anthology series.

    According to John Howard's article in The Canberra Times (see Works About):

    Enquiries around the ABC Drama Department revealed that everybody there is just as curious.

    The producer of the play, Henri Safran, chose it from a bundle of indifferent quality that found its way to his desk. Phillip Mann tells me that he met Black some time ago in London, where he is a professional writer. As far as he knows Black has never been to Australia.

  • The play's perceived obscenity also caused a small flurry of correspondence in the pages of The Canberra Times after it aired. See a sampling of the correspondence via this link to Trove Australia.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • c
      Australia,
      c
      :
      Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1965 .
      Extent: 55min.p.
      Series: y Wednesday Theatre Australia : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1965-1969 7118326 1965 series - publisher

      An ABC anthology television series that played single-episode television programs from overseas, but also produced and promoted new Australian works.

      The individual works had no explicit thematic connection to one another, and the term 'theatre' was applied loosely: some instalments were adaptations of stage plays, but many appear to have been written directly as 'television plays'. The series also semi-regularly aired operas.

      In some instances, the productions were imported wholesale from other countries: 'Collect Your Hand Luggage' (aired 20 October 1965), for example, is a re-titled broadcast of ITV Television Playhouse episode 'Collect Your Hand Baggage' (originally aired in 1963).

      In other instances, the episodes are Australian productions of international works: 'Tartuffe' (aired 13 October 1965), for example, is an Australian production of the Moliere play, produced Henri Safran and with an Australian cast. These productions are only indexed individually on AustLit if there is a discernible Australian script-writer and/or localisation of the production.

      Wednesday Theatre followed a common pattern for anthology series on early Australian television, in that the Australian content rapidly dropped away and the series became primarily re-screenings of British productions: see also Stuart Wagstaff's World Playhouse.

      For a full listing of episodes and airdates, see under Film Details.

      Number in series: 1.13

Works about this Work

U.K. Playwright, Long Range View 1965 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 April 1965; (p. 15)
Talks largely about a single instalment of the Wednesday Theatre: 'The Swagman', written by British author Ian Stuart Black. In doing so, makes some key points about how the Wednesday Theatre series is produced.
U.K. Playwright, Long Range View 1965 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 April 1965; (p. 15)
Talks largely about a single instalment of the Wednesday Theatre: 'The Swagman', written by British author Ian Stuart Black. In doing so, makes some key points about how the Wednesday Theatre series is produced.
Last amended 26 Nov 2014 15:18:44
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    Australia,
    c
  • Australian Outback, Central Australia,
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