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y The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner single work   musical theatre   - Prologue and two acts
  • Author: Dorothy Hewett http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/hewett-dorothy
Issue Details: First known date: 1972 1972
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Written in Hewett's freewheeling epic style, The Chapel Perilous is a journey play that spans the period between the 1930s and the late 1960s. The story concerns Sally Banner, an over-reacher who attempts to find fulfilment – whether through her gift of poetic expression, through her sexual relationships, or in later years through political activism - and ultimately finds it through self-acceptance. Thematically the play contains the qualities and concerns which are often associated with Hewett's style – female sexuality, questioning of authority and morality, and anarchic tendencies towards structure in both dramatic text and social attitudes.

As Hewett remarks in her 1979 Hecate article: 'Sally is balanced by several symbolic female figures, the "Authority figures" of Headmistress, Anglican teaching "sister", and mother... [along with the] lesbian love figure, Judith, who stands for intellectual control and denial of sensual love' ('Creating Heroines in Australian Plays', p. 77).

Adaptations

y The Chapel Perilous; or, the Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1976 7953221 1976 single work radio play

A radio adaptation of Dorothy Hewett's stage play.

Notes

  • 'The Chapel Perilous derives from Sir Thomas Malory's The Tale of King Arthur, 1485 (Winchester MA, Caxton, Book VI. How Sir Lancelot cam into the chapel perelus and gate there of a ded corps, a pyece of the cloth and a sworde...'

    Source: Tait, Peta and Elizabeth Schafer (eds.) Australian Women's Drama: Texts and Feminisms (1997): 3.

  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Production Details

  • First produced at the New Fortune Theatre, Perth, 21 January 1971. Director: Aarne Neeme. The composers were Frank Arndt and Michael Leydon.

    There have been further productions since 1971 including those of the Union Theatre (Melbourne University, 1972) and the Old Tote Theatre Company (Sydney Opera House, 1974). Both these productions were directed by George Whaley.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 1972 .
      Extent: 93p.
      Limited edition info: Limited edition of 100 copies signed by the author (ISBN 0858930102)
      Reprinted: 1973
      Note/s:
      • Includes preface by Sylvia Lawson (pp.3-4) and introduction by Aarne Neeme (pp.5-7), both dated June 1972.
      • Includes notes and glossary.
      • ISBN 0858930102: 'Of this edition of Currency Playtexts only 100 have been published. The stock is Burnie Standard Offset, substance of 85 gsm with introductory pages on Show-offset, substance of 136gsm. The edition is specially bound in full Reliance cloth and 20 oz strawboard with square back, and is signed by the author.'
      ISBN: 0858930102 (signed ed.), 0858930099 (cloth bound), 0858930110 (acting ed.), 0858930080 (pbk.)
      Series: Currency Playtexts : Series 1 series - publisher Number in series: 4
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 1977 .
      6277699036311978596.jpg
      Extent: xiv, 95p.p.
      Edition info: New ed.
      Note/s:
      • Introduced by Silvia Lawson. Director's preface by Aarne Neeme.
      ISBN: 0868190055
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 1981 .
      Extent: xix, 121p.p.
      Edition info: 3rd ed.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • With essays by Sylvia Lawson, Aarne Neeme and Dorothy Hewett, and original music by Frank Arndt
      • Includes musical scores, pp.95-121.
      • Dedication: To Aarne Neeme the first and best director of The Chapel Perilous.
      ISBN: 0868190055
      Series: Currency Plays Currency Press (publisher), series - publisher
  • Appears in:
    y Collected Plays : Volume I Dorothy Hewett , Sydney : Currency Press , 1992 Z843519 1992 selected work drama Sydney : Currency Press , 1992 pg. 127-208
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Women's Drama : Texts and Feminisms Peta Tait (editor), Elizabeth Schafer (editor), Paddington : Currency Press , 1997 Z69253 1997 anthology drama (taught in 6 units) Paddington : Currency Press , 1997 pg. 1-71
    • Strawberry Hills, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , ca. 2007 .
      927907384168288348.jpg
      This image has been sourced from the National Library of Australia
      Extent: [viii], 101p.p.
      Edition info: New ed.
      Description: ports
      ISBN: 9780868198149

Works about this Work

The Chapel Perilous: The Paradigm of Fertility Overshadowed by the Quest Jasna Novakovic , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Double Dialogues , no. 11 2010;

'It is widely acknowledged that Dorothy Hewett borrowed the idea of The Chapel Perilous from the Arthurian romances reinvented by Tennyson and Eliot in rather different ways. What remains, however, unacknowledged in the discussion of Hewett's work is that Eliot took his key paradigm from Frazer who studied the old fertility rites, and from Weston who explored earlier versions of the Grail romances, where the purpose of the Quest was to regenerate the Fisher King and the land he ruled. The grail romances enjoyed huge popularity in France and Germany throughout the Middle Ages, but only in the oldest, versified versions were the fertility paradigm and the underlying signification of the Quest connoted clearly enough. Hewett, like Eliot, draws on the sources that point back to the pagan roots of humanity to critique the privileging of the death forces (repression) over the life forces (sexuality/ freedom) and the 'waste land' such an attitude makes of society. This is not to say that she subscribes to the 'myth and ritual' school uncritically. For Hewett, unlike for Eliot, the sacred and the profane co-exist dialectically and The Chapel Perilous is a notable example.' (Publication abstract)

Dorothy Hewett's Paths to the Chapel Perilous Susan Sheridan , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 54 no. 1 2009; (p. 170-188)
Discusses Dorothy Hewett's transition from a Communist writer in the 1960s to a dramatist recognised as a feminist in the 1970s.
Changing Scenery : The Central Character on the Australian Stage Hilary Beaton , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Defining Acts : Australia on Stage : A Centenary of Federation Exhibition Celebrating the Australian Character on the Popular Stage over the Past 100 Years 2001; (p. 26-33)
‘The marking of the Centenary of Federation is more than just a celebration of past events. Coming of age involves part memory, part invention. The process is to recover, restore and even fabricate the monuments of social history. Landmarks, whether geographical, social or political, are cherished for the ways in which they trigger memories and shape the collective consciousness, this deepening our sense of ourselves as a race, a community or a nation. History resurrected can breathe new life into the established norms and force a reconsideration of assumptions.’ (p. 26)
Tremendous Worlds : Australian Women's Drama 1890-1960 : Introduction Susan Pfisterer , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Tremendous Worlds : Australian Women's Drama 1890-1960 1999; (p. v-xxvi)
A Vision Splendid Kate McNamara , 1996 single work column biography
— Appears in: Muse , September no. 155 1996; (p. 7)
Dorothy Hewett and the Left John McLaren , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 32-52)
Dorothy Hewett and Contemporary Australian Drama Peter Fitzpatrick , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 95-114)
Seeking Woman: Dorothy Hewett's Shifting Genres Susan Lever , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 147-162)
The Wheel, the Mirror and the Tower: Desire in the Writings of Dorothy Hewett David Brooks , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 180-201)
'Me is Not a Stable Reality' : Dorothy Hewett Marie-Louise Ayres , 1994 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: 'Me is Not a Stable Reality' : Negotiations of Identity in the Poetry of Dorothy Auchterlonie, Rosemary Dobson, Dorothy Hewett and J.S. Harry 1994; (p. 189-245)
Case of Conflict Overload Doug Anderson , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 July 1994; (p. 23)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
"I was a Rebel in Word and Deed": Dorothy Hewett's "The Chapel Perilous" and Contemporary Australian Feminist Writing Joanne Tompkins , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , December no. 10 1993; (p. 41-56)
y Dorothy Hewett : The Feminine as Subversion Margaret Williams , Paddington : Currency Press , 1992 Z339385 1992 single work criticism
Out of Town James Waites , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Review , April no. 41 1992; (p. 16)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Time Passed / Time Past: The Empowerment of Women and Blacks in Australian Feminist and Aboriginal Drama Joanne Tompkins , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , October no. 19 1991; (p. 13-22)
No Hope for This Cowardy Custard Peter Goers , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 11 June 1991; (p. 15)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
A Tremendous World in Her Head : Introduction Kirsten Holst Petersen , 1989 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: A Tremendous World in Her Head : Selected Poems 1989; (p. ix-xvii)
Fighting Words David Britton , 1987 single work column biography
— Appears in: The West Australian , 17 January 1987; (p. 31)
Fruitful Collaboration Sheds Light and Entertainment Helen Musa , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 September 1987, B6 1987; (p. 10)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre

A review of a 'public playreading', by Interact Theatre Canberra in collaboration with the Australian National University, of Dorothy Hewett's The Chapel Perilous.

There's No Business Like Show Business Dorothy Hewett , 1984 single work criticism autobiography
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 43 no. 1 1984; (p. 26-32)
Assaying the New Drama A. A. Phillips , 1973 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , Winter vol. 32 no. 2 1973; (p. 189-195) Responses : Selected Writings 1979; (p. 182-189) Contemporary Australian Drama : Perspectives Since 1955 1981; (p. 217-224)

— Review of The Third Secretary : A Play Ralph Peterson 1972 single work drama ; A Stretch of the Imagination Jack Hibberd 1971 single work drama ; The Removalists David Williamson 1971 single work drama ; Four Australian Plays Barbara Stellmach 1973 selected work drama ; The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre ; The Lucky Streak : A Play James Searle 1966 single work drama

A. A. Phillips introduces his review of six new Australian dramas by saying: 'The quality of these plays, and others in the present burgeoning, is perhaps not the most important consideration. It matters much more that they are here and that they are satisfying audiences. Culturally in the widest sense of the word, the theatre's first importance is not as a potent vehicle of art, but as the place where a crosssection of the community has a common, and preferably a significant, experience. But so long as our theatre presented almost entirely imported material it forfeited half its power to develop our social coherence. Moreover, it fed our tendency to drowse into acceptance of a client-state mentality. It therefore matters a good deal that a sizeable slice of our common entertainment is now being presented by our own entertainers concerned with our own forms of living and igniting an eagerness of response. If their plays are also good art or penetrating social comment, so very much the better; but that is not their primary social function.' (Meanjin 32.2 (June 1973):189)

Untitled Ron Blair , 1972 single work review
— Appears in: Nation Review , 25-30 November 1972; (p. 201)

— Review of The Lucky Streak : A Play James Searle 1966 single work drama ; The Removalists David Williamson 1971 single work drama ; The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Australian Drama Gains Currency Rodney Wissler , 1973 single work review
— Appears in: Makar , July vol. 9 no. 1 1973; (p. 45-48)

— Review of The Lucky Streak : A Play James Searle 1966 single work drama ; The Slaughter of St. Teresa's Day : A Play Peter Joseph Kenna 1959 single work drama ; Macquarie : A Play Alex Buzo 1971 single work drama ; The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre ; The Removalists David Williamson 1971 single work drama
Nice, Seamy Drama Jo Gibson , 1972 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 30 September 1972; (p. 12)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Untitled Leonard Radic , 1972 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 30 September 1972; (p. 14)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
New Drama Axel Kruse , 1973 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , June vol. 33 no. 2 1973; (p. 240-246)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre ; A Stretch of the Imagination Jack Hibberd 1971 single work drama ; The Removalists David Williamson 1971 single work drama ; Macquarie : A Play Alex Buzo 1971 single work drama
Playwright's Perilous Journey Katharine Brisbane , 1971 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 27 January 1971; (p. 10)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Untitled Leonard Radic , 1972 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 5 May 1972; (p. 2)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Untitled David Rowbotham , 1972 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 October 1972; (p. 23)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Marvel How It Stood the Strain Mary Armitage , 1973 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 19 February 1973; (p. 18)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Lavish Boredom and Simple Elegance Brian Hoad , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 2 November vol. 96 no. 4930 1974; (p. 52-53)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Perilous Production Katharine Brisbane , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 25 October 1974; (p. 12)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Perils of Sally Banner Romola Costantino , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23 October 1974; (p. 7)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
`The Chapel Perilous' : A Classic Case of Falling Between Stools Kevon Kemp , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The National Times , 28 October-2 November 1974; (p. 26)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
No Hope for This Cowardy Custard Peter Goers , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 11 June 1991; (p. 15)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Out of Town James Waites , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Review , April no. 41 1992; (p. 16)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Case of Conflict Overload Doug Anderson , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 July 1994; (p. 23)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre
Fruitful Collaboration Sheds Light and Entertainment Helen Musa , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 September 1987, B6 1987; (p. 10)

— Review of The Chapel Perilous, Or, The Perilous Adventures of Sally Banner Dorothy Hewett 1972 single work musical theatre

A review of a 'public playreading', by Interact Theatre Canberra in collaboration with the Australian National University, of Dorothy Hewett's The Chapel Perilous.

Dorothy Hewett's Paths to the Chapel Perilous Susan Sheridan , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 54 no. 1 2009; (p. 170-188)
Discusses Dorothy Hewett's transition from a Communist writer in the 1960s to a dramatist recognised as a feminist in the 1970s.
Changing Scenery : The Central Character on the Australian Stage Hilary Beaton , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Defining Acts : Australia on Stage : A Centenary of Federation Exhibition Celebrating the Australian Character on the Popular Stage over the Past 100 Years 2001; (p. 26-33)
‘The marking of the Centenary of Federation is more than just a celebration of past events. Coming of age involves part memory, part invention. The process is to recover, restore and even fabricate the monuments of social history. Landmarks, whether geographical, social or political, are cherished for the ways in which they trigger memories and shape the collective consciousness, this deepening our sense of ourselves as a race, a community or a nation. History resurrected can breathe new life into the established norms and force a reconsideration of assumptions.’ (p. 26)
"I was a Rebel in Word and Deed": Dorothy Hewett's "The Chapel Perilous" and Contemporary Australian Feminist Writing Joanne Tompkins , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , December no. 10 1993; (p. 41-56)
Optimism in Recent Australian Drama William Dean , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Landfall , no. 118 1976; (p. 162-167)
A Vision Splendid Kate McNamara , 1996 single work column biography
— Appears in: Muse , September no. 155 1996; (p. 7)
'Me is Not a Stable Reality' : Dorothy Hewett Marie-Louise Ayres , 1994 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: 'Me is Not a Stable Reality' : Negotiations of Identity in the Poetry of Dorothy Auchterlonie, Rosemary Dobson, Dorothy Hewett and J.S. Harry 1994; (p. 189-245)
Dorothy Hewett and the Left John McLaren , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 32-52)
Dorothy Hewett and Contemporary Australian Drama Peter Fitzpatrick , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 95-114)
Seeking Woman: Dorothy Hewett's Shifting Genres Susan Lever , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 147-162)
The Wheel, the Mirror and the Tower: Desire in the Writings of Dorothy Hewett David Brooks , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Dorothy Hewett : Selected Critical Essays 1995; (p. 180-201)
Dorothy Hewett : Playwright of Spendid Moments Alrene Sykes , 1978 single work criticism
— Appears in: World Literature Written in English , April vol. 17 no. 1 1978; (p. 106-113)
Article provides a biography and an introduction to the drama works of Dorothy Hewett, with specific reference to The Chapel Perilous.
Seeing Her Own Mischance : The Poetry and Plays of Dorothy Hewett Brian Kiernan , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 64 1976; (p. 16-23) Contemporary Australian Drama : Perspectives Since 1955 1981; (p. 347-356)
An Excited Playwright Looks into the Crater of the Big Time Kevon Kemp , 1974 single work criticism
— Appears in: The National Times , 30 September-5 October 1974; (p. 22)
Ordeal by Freedom : A Carve-Up of Sally or Society? Jean Whitehead , 1971 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , March no. 1 1971; (p. 41-44)
Creating Heroines in Australian Plays Dorothy Hewett , 1979 single work criticism
— Appears in: Hecate , vol. 5 no. 2 1979; (p. 73-80) Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett 2011; (p. 231-242)
The Perils of Art in Sydney Town Patrick White , 1974 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 November 1974; (p. 16) Patrick White : Selected Writings 1994; (p. 205-206)
Quest or Question? Perilous Journey to the Chapel Reba Gostand , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bards, Bohemians, and Bookmen : Essays in Australian Literature 1976; (p. 289-304)
y Dorothy Hewett : The Feminine as Subversion Margaret Williams , Paddington : Currency Press , 1992 Z339385 1992 single work criticism
Why Do Women Have to Explain? Neil Jillett , 1974 single work column biography
— Appears in: The Herald , 7 December 1974; (p. 32)
Rebel Dorothy - This is Her Life Elisabeth Wynhausen , 1974 single work column biography
— Appears in: The Sunday Telegraph , 6 October 1974; (p. 37,39)
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