Here Comes the Nigger single work   drama   - Excerpt
Issue Details: First known date: 1977 1977
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Gerry Bostock's Here Comes the Nigger was first performed at the Black Theatre, Redfern, in 1976. Portions of the original playscript were printed in Meanjin in December 1977, although the entire text has never been published.

Production Details

  • First produced at the Black Theatre, Redfern, Sydney, 1976.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Meanjin vol. 36 no. 3 Spring 1977 Z611978 1977 periodical issue 1977 pg. 479-493
  • Appears in:
    y Paperbark : A Collection of Black Australian Writings Jack Davis (editor), Stephen Muecke (editor), Mudrooroo (editor), Adam Shoemaker (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1990 Z299632 1990 anthology poetry drama short story criticism prose autobiography biography (taught in 2 units)

    'This is the first collection to span the diverse range of Black Australian writings. Thirty-six Aboriginal and Islander authors have contributed, including David Unaipon, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Gerry Bostock, Ruby Langford, Robert Bropho, Jack Davis, Hyllus Maris, William Ferguson, Sally Morgan, Mudrooroo Narogin and Archie Weller. Many more are represented through community writings such as petitions and letters.

    Collected over six years from all the states and territories of Australia, Paperbark ranges widely across time and genre from the 1840s to the present, from transcriptions of oral literature to rock opera. Prose, poetry, song, drama and polemic are accompanied by the selected artworks of Jimmy Pike, and an extensive, up-to-date bibliography.The voices of Black Australia speak with passion and power in this challenging and important anthology.' Source: Publisher's blurb.

    St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1990
    pg. 299-310
    Note: Editor's note: Gerry Bostock's Here Comes the Nigger was first performed at the Black Theatre, Redfern, in 1976. Portions of the original playscript were printed in Meanjin in December 1977, although the enture text has never been published. The excerpt reproduced below is taken from a revised version of the play, transformed by the author into draft filmscript.
  • Appears in:
    y Concert of Voices : An Anthology of World Writing in English Victor J. Ramraj , Peterborough : Broadview Press , 1995 7228368 1995 anthology drama poetry short story

    'Concert of Voices combines poetry, fiction, drama and essays in a wide-ranging anthology of world literature in English. The collection includes a number of established writers who, despite their great reputations, have often been perceived as standing apart from the main currents of English literature (and have rarely found their way onto English Department reading lists). Most selections, through, are by a remarkable range of much less established authors. In addition to the selections, the editor has provided a general introduction and a brief biographical note on each author.' (Source: back cover)

    Peterborough : Broadview Press , 1995
    pg. 60-67
    Note: Editor's note: Gerry Bostock's Here Comes the Nigger was first performed at the Black Theatre, Redfern, in 1976. Portions of the original playscript were printed in Meanjin in December 1977, although the entire text has never been published. The excerpt reproduced below is taken from a revised version of the play, transformed by the author into a draft filmscript.

Works about this Work

y Creating Frames : Contemporary Indigenous Theatre : 1967-1990 Maryrose Casey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2004 Z1109707 2004 single work criticism

From publisher's blurb (back cover): Creating Frames provides the first significant social and cultural history of Indigenous theatre across Australia. As well as using archival sources and national and independent theatre company records, much of this history is drawn from interviews with individuals who have shaped contemporary Indigenous theatre in Australia - including Bob Maza, Jack Charles, Gary Foley, Justine Saunders, Weley Enoch, Ningali, and John Harding...

Creating Frames traces the history of production of texts by Indigenous Australian artists from 1967 to 1997. It includes productions in theatres of texts by Indigenous Australian artists, collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and adaptations of texts by Indigenous artists. The focus is public urban commercial productions and includes national and international premieres and tours. 'Commercial' is used here in the sense of public presentations open to any potential audience member as distinct from closed community productions. The focus does not include radio plays, millennia of traditional practices, performances devised and performed within communities, or community outreach/education theatre initiatives such as HeatWorks in the Kimberley. Even within these limits the constraints of space have affected the number of productions that can be covered in detail.

Throughout this thirty year period, particular themes recur, these themes relate to the ways in which the external framing of the work either facilitates or blocks production. These themes often relate directly or indirectly to concepts of 'authenticity' and/or 'Aboriginality' - in effect the 'acceptable' face of Aboriginality within government and social narratives at any point in time. The strength and power of these themes as frames for the work has drawn on generally accepted understandings of Australian history and the ways in which these are manipulated in the service of political agendas. These frames fall into three main categories within the thirty year period - assimilation, multiculturalism and reconciliation. This production history reveals that, rather than Euro-Australian theatre practitioners creating an environment that enabled Indigenous theatre practice, Indigenous artists have taken their own initiative. An initiative they continue to take whilst simultaneously contesting the primarily external frames that define their work and affect their production possibilities.

(Abstract courtesy the author.)

Aboriginality and Black Australian Drama Adam Shoemaker , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 1989; (p. 231-264)
Having examined the origins of Black drama in Chapter Six, in this chapter, Shoemaker explores the distinctive elements of writing produced by Aboriginal dramatists. The work of these writers is briefly contrasted to the work of selected White Australian playwrights in order to highlight the contribution of Black Australian dramatists to the Aboriginal movement, to the formulation of the concept of Aboriginality and to the enrichment of Australian literature as a whole. Important aspects of Aboriginality are explored such as endurance, pride, protests, poverty, sorrow, anger and humour. The distinctive Black Australian approach to humour is given particular attention. The works of Kevin Gilbert, Gerry Bostock, Jack Davis and Thomas Keneally are discussed.
Backgrounds to Aboriginal Literature Clifford Watego , 1988 single work essay
— Appears in: Black Voices , vol. 4 no. 1 1988; (p. 42-55)
Black Theatre: Robert Merritt's `The Cake Man' John McCallum , 1977 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Aboriginal Issue [Summer] vol. 36 no. 4 1977; (p. 474-478)
y Creating Frames : Contemporary Indigenous Theatre : 1967-1990 Maryrose Casey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2004 Z1109707 2004 single work criticism

From publisher's blurb (back cover): Creating Frames provides the first significant social and cultural history of Indigenous theatre across Australia. As well as using archival sources and national and independent theatre company records, much of this history is drawn from interviews with individuals who have shaped contemporary Indigenous theatre in Australia - including Bob Maza, Jack Charles, Gary Foley, Justine Saunders, Weley Enoch, Ningali, and John Harding...

Creating Frames traces the history of production of texts by Indigenous Australian artists from 1967 to 1997. It includes productions in theatres of texts by Indigenous Australian artists, collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and adaptations of texts by Indigenous artists. The focus is public urban commercial productions and includes national and international premieres and tours. 'Commercial' is used here in the sense of public presentations open to any potential audience member as distinct from closed community productions. The focus does not include radio plays, millennia of traditional practices, performances devised and performed within communities, or community outreach/education theatre initiatives such as HeatWorks in the Kimberley. Even within these limits the constraints of space have affected the number of productions that can be covered in detail.

Throughout this thirty year period, particular themes recur, these themes relate to the ways in which the external framing of the work either facilitates or blocks production. These themes often relate directly or indirectly to concepts of 'authenticity' and/or 'Aboriginality' - in effect the 'acceptable' face of Aboriginality within government and social narratives at any point in time. The strength and power of these themes as frames for the work has drawn on generally accepted understandings of Australian history and the ways in which these are manipulated in the service of political agendas. These frames fall into three main categories within the thirty year period - assimilation, multiculturalism and reconciliation. This production history reveals that, rather than Euro-Australian theatre practitioners creating an environment that enabled Indigenous theatre practice, Indigenous artists have taken their own initiative. An initiative they continue to take whilst simultaneously contesting the primarily external frames that define their work and affect their production possibilities.

(Abstract courtesy the author.)

Backgrounds to Aboriginal Literature Clifford Watego , 1988 single work essay
— Appears in: Black Voices , vol. 4 no. 1 1988; (p. 42-55)
Black Theatre: Robert Merritt's `The Cake Man' John McCallum , 1977 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Aboriginal Issue [Summer] vol. 36 no. 4 1977; (p. 474-478)
Aboriginality and Black Australian Drama Adam Shoemaker , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 1989; (p. 231-264)
Having examined the origins of Black drama in Chapter Six, in this chapter, Shoemaker explores the distinctive elements of writing produced by Aboriginal dramatists. The work of these writers is briefly contrasted to the work of selected White Australian playwrights in order to highlight the contribution of Black Australian dramatists to the Aboriginal movement, to the formulation of the concept of Aboriginality and to the enrichment of Australian literature as a whole. Important aspects of Aboriginality are explored such as endurance, pride, protests, poverty, sorrow, anger and humour. The distinctive Black Australian approach to humour is given particular attention. The works of Kevin Gilbert, Gerry Bostock, Jack Davis and Thomas Keneally are discussed.
Last amended 9 Apr 2014 13:24:25
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