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y The Floating World single work   drama   - 20 scenes
The Floating World Issue Details: First known date: 1974... 1974
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Les Harding, onetime Japanese prisoner-of-war, takes a package cruise to Japan with his wife. As he draws near, long-repressed memories of suffering well up. A rich, ironic study of Australian xenophobia..

Source: Currency Press

(http://www.currency.com.au/product_detail.aspx?productid=210)

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For:

AC: Senior Secondary (Literature Unit 3)

Romeril delivers us a lesson in Australian history in a vernacular poetry that is rhythmic and relentless.

The Currency edition of the script presents the play in the context of Australian xenophobia, with essays on Australian nationalism, attitudes to the ‘Yellow Peril’ and the history of the Thai–Burma railway, and Katharine Brisbane’s introduction to the play as ‘a study of xenophobia’. In the 1970s, some commentators saw the play itself as xenophobic in its airing of common Australian prejudices about the generalised ‘Asian’ and its reminder of the horrors inflicted by Japanese jailers on their prisoners of war. Romeril felt the need to write an afterword protesting his liking for the Japanese, and he has reiterated this defence in his blogs for the Griffin production, noting the influence of Japanese Noh theatre on the ghost scene, and citing the play’s brief reference to the way Japanese guards were also victims of a brutal hierarchy.

Source: Australian Book Review

(https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/reading-australia/john-romeril/the-floating-world-by-john-romeril)

Notes

  • Other formats: Also braille and sound recording.

Production Details

  • First produced by the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory, Melbourne, 6 August 1974. Also produced at the Perth Playhouse, March 1975.
  • Performed by the Griffin Theatre Company at SBW Stables Theatre, Kings Cross 11 October - 16 November, 2013

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1974
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 1982 .
      3852698948884622112.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xxxiv, 100p.p.
      Edition info: Rev.ed.
      Description: illus., port.
      ISBN: 0868190640
  • Appears in:
    y Damage : A Collection of Plays John Romeril , Sydney : Currency Press , 2010 Z1709452 2010 selected work drama (taught in 3 units)

    'This collection, introduced by John McCallum, includes three previously unpublished works: Jonah, a Brechtian musical reinvention of Louis Stone's novel of the same name; Top End, a political drama set in Darwin during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, and Lost Weekend which takes a class-based look at 'Australianess'. They are published together with Romeril's best-known play, The Floating World, the story of a returned serviceman's descent into madness on a cruise ship bound for Japan.

    'Romeril's writing conveys the immediacy of the times that stems from his beginnings as an agitprop writer, but he focuses on everyday lives. The plays in Damage explore the twentieth century stresses and strains, the damage we do and the damage done to us.' (From the publisher's website.)

    Sydney : Currency Press , 2010
    • Strawberry Hills, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press , 2013 .
      Extent: 1vp.
      Edition info: 3rd edition
      ISBN: 9781925005028 (paperback) :
      Series: Current Theatre Series Currency Press (publisher), 1983- series - publisher 'Current Theatre Series consists of Australian plays published with the program inserted and sold during theatre seasons. The aim of the series is to promote and encourage new dramatic writing and make it accessible to theatregoers and the public. The text is presented at the first day of rehearsal and does not contain changes which the author may choose to make after the play has commenced its present season - these will be incorporated into any new edition published by Currency.' Currency Press.
      .
      Description: Typescript.
      (Manuscript) assertion

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
Alternative title: Furotingu warudo
Language: Japanese

Works about this Work

'Hamlet' and 'The Floating World' : No Going Back James Waites , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 356 2013;

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
[Untitled] Elissa Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 October 2013; (p. 11)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
Cherry Blossom Cruise to the Harrowing Past John McCallum , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 11 October 2013; (p. 15)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
A War Veteran's Battle Powers Brilliant Show Jason Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 11 October 2013; (p. 21)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
Humour Cannot Hide the Horror of an Old War Steve Dow , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 September 2013; (p. 14) The Canberra Times , 16 September 2013;
Untitled 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Jewish News , 16 August 1974; (p. 13)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
Untitled R. Hardy , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: Lot's Wife , 12 August 1974; (p. 9)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
A Study of Madness David Kendall , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 31 August vol. 96 no. 4921 1974; (p. 48,51)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
Straitjacketed Plain Bloody Disaster D. Thorpe , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: Nation Review , 16-22 August 1974; (p. 1428)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
Unruly Masterpiece G. Hutchinson , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 14 August 1974; (p. 14)

— Review of The Floating World John Romeril 1974 single work drama
A Precious Arena Rebecca Meston , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Muse , November no. 234 2003; (p. 18)
Cultural Frictions: John Romeril's The Floating World Helen Gilbert , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Theatre Research International , vol. 26 no. 1 2001; (p. 60-70)
Hailed as an 'unruly masterpiece', John Romeril's The Floating World is one of the few 'new wave' Australian plays representing Australians and their Asian 'others' to be restaged periodically since its première in 1974. Paying particular attention to productions of the play that have used Japanese theatre forms such as kabuki and bunraku, this article focuses primarily on the ways in which the spectacle of race has been coded performatively by different directorial approaches, and how various significations of race have been interpreted by the critical establishment. The fascinating stage history of The Floating World is treated as a barometer of Australian theatre's response to the challenge of representing cultural conflict, during a period marked by public debate about the desirability, and inevitability, of Australia's political, economic and cultural 'enmeshment' with Asia.
A Lecture : After the Event John Romeril , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Beyond Good And Evil? Essays on the Literature and Culture of the Asia-Pacific Region 2005; (p. 183-197)
Language and Metaphor in The Floating World David Kerr , 1984 single work criticism
— Appears in: Viewpoints : H.S.C. English Literature , no. 85 1984; (p. 187-193)
How Australian is It? Alison Croggon , 2010 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 200 2010; (p. 55-62)

Awards

2014 shortlisted Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia Best Direction of a Play For the Griffin Theatre Company production.
2013 Sydney Theatre Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Mainstream Production Awarded to actor, Peter Kowitz
2013 nominated Sydney Theatre Awards Best Mainstage Production
Last amended 30 Jan 2017 15:23:46
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