y The One Day of the Year single work   drama   - Three acts
Issue Details: First known date: 1960 1960
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Adaptations

form y The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Anzac Day-A , 1962 7950956 1962 single work film/TV

'Anzac Day–a great national day of honour, a day of salute to the fallen, a day of grief ... or just a great meaningless booze-up?'

Source: Radio Times, 6 December 1962, p.47.

form y The One Day of the Year John Sumner , Australia : Seven Network , 1962 7190729 1962 single work film/TV

A television adaptation of Alan Seymour's play.

form y Die ene dag The One Day of the Year Meia Albarda (translator), Belgium : Belgische Radio en Televisie , 1969 7951285 1969 single work film/TV

An adaptation of Alan Seymour's The One Day of the Year for Belgian television.

form y The Last of the Australians Terry Stapleton , Melbourne : Crawford Productions , 1975 Z1814874 1975 series - publisher film/TV humour

The Last of the Australians was Crawford Productions' first attempt at a sit-com since Take That in the 1950s, and one of the few Australian sit-coms filmed in front of a live studio audience.

The script was based on Alan Seymour's play The One Day of the Year, which explores the clashing attitudes of a father and son towards Anzac Day. As Don Storey notes in his Classic Australian Television:

Seymour has been approached several times for the TV rights to the play, and he refused all offers, including one from an American film company. However, when scriptwriter Terry Stapleton approached him on Crawford's behalf, Seymour agreed to sell the rights. This was because scripts that Stapleton had prepared were given to Seymour, and he was pleased with the way Terry had handled the character interpretations.

The sit-com is centred around the characters of Ted Cook, his wife Dot, and his son Gary. Ted is a World War II veteran of strong conservative principles, frustrated by the direction in which modern Australian society is moving. Gary is a teenaged university student of strong liberal principles, his father's antithesis. Despite the fact that the show drew its tension from the clash between father and son, it preserved a strong degree of affection between the family members.

Storey emphasises that Terry Stapleton wrote all episodes himself (barring one collaboration with his brother Jim), and concludes 'The Last of the Australians is cleverly written, very funny, and, being made during the tenure of the Whitlam Government, contains many interesting political references. The acting and direction is superb, and there is no irritating canned laughter'. Similarly, Moran, in his Guide to Australian Television Series, describes the sit-com as 'a very likeable and funny comic inversion of the Seymour play'.

Notes

  • Seymour revised the play in the 1980s.
  • Other formats: Also braille, sound recording.

Production Details

  • First amateur production performed by the Adelaide Theatre Group, 20 July 1960. The first professional production was by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust at the Palace Theatre, Sydney, 26 April 1961. The One Day of the Year has since been produced regularly around Australia and in numerous other countries.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1960
  • Appears in:
    y Theatregoer vol. 1 no. 4 1961 Z867588 1961 periodical issue 1961 pg. 25-44
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Angus and Robertson , 1962 .
      Extent: 107p.
      Reprinted: 1976 ISBN of 1976 reprint: 0207133301
  • Appears in:
    y Three Australian Plays Hal Porter , Alan Seymour , Douglas Stewart , Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1963 Z893289 1963 selected work drama Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1963 pg. 23-96
  • Appears in:
    y Five Plays for Stage, Radio and Television Alrene Sykes (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1977 Z288060 1977 anthology drama criticism autobiography St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1977 pg. 28-82
      1979 .
      Alternative title: Rewrites for The One Day of the Year
      Extent: 86 leavesp.
      Description: Typescript (photocopy).
      (Manuscript) assertion

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: h1580B
      ca. 1984 .
      Extent: 86 leavesp.
      Edition info: Rev.ed.
      Description: Typescript (photocopy).
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • Title page: Keith Richards production copy. Ms emendations and stage directions throughout.

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: H1580
      ca. 1984 .
      Extent: 1, 95 leavesp.
      Description: Typescript (photocopy).
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • Cover note: Not yet performed.

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: H1580A
  • Appears in:
    y Three Australian Plays Hal Porter , Alan Seymour , Douglas Stewart , Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1963 Z893289 1963 selected work drama Ringwood : Penguin , 1985 pg. 25-96
    Note: Rev. ed.
  • Appears in:
    y Three Australian Plays Hal Porter , Alan Seymour , Douglas Stewart , Harmondsworth : Penguin , 1963 Z893289 1963 selected work drama Ringwood : Penguin , 1994 pg. 25-96
    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: HarperCollins , 1996 .
      .
      Description: typescript.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • A typescript of play which is marked up for film adaptation held at Flinders University, Adelaide.

      Holdings

      Held at: Flinders University of South Australia
Alternative title: Der eine Tag im Jahr
Language: German
    • Reinbek,
      c
      Germany,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Rowohlt , 1963 .
      Extent: 148p.

Works about this Work

Festival Turns to the 'Hood to Get its Groove Back Wendy Frew , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 October 2011; (p. 16)
The 'Deficit of Remembrance' : The Great War Revival in Australia and Ireland Dominic Bryan , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 163-186)
A Theatrical Turning Point Philip O'Brien , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 July 2010; (p. 9)
Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day : An Anzac Day Play on British Television Susan Lever , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 9 2009;
'Though a few naturalist plays from the 1950s and 1960s are acknowledged in Australian drama history, the plays written for television by Australians who went to Britain and America have disappeared from consideration. This article discusses one of them, Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day as an example of the naturalism current in British television in the early 1960s. It discusses the play's deliberate restraint and depiction of 'ordinary' people. It also places the play in the context of other Australian plays that use Anzac Day or the veteran's reunion as subject matter. A copy of the screenplay is appended.'
The Play on Anzac Day Ron Cerabona , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 April 2008; (p. 19)
Dynamic Take on Timeless Classic of Failed Dreams Peter Wilkins , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 April 2008; (p. 9)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Remembering Masculinities in the Theatre of War Jonathan Bollen , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April no. 46 2005; (p. 3-19)
Surveys post-war theatrical productions of plays which articulate men's experiences at war and back home. '...this article explores the propagation of gender anxieties in performance during the post-war period of suburban expansion. In contrast with more recent productions which have sought to celebrate the survival, ingenuity and achievements of Australian men at war, productions from the post-war period were less overtly nationalistic and less assertively masculinist. ... post-war productions celebrated less the heroism of men at war than the nostalgia of their returning home' (3).
'The Space Between' : Representing 'Youth' on the Contemporary Australian Stage Richard Jordan , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Space Between : Representing 'Youth' on the Contemporary Australian Stage 2005; (p. 1-44; 107-126)
Tiny Voice Amid Giants' Din Alan Seymour , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 28 March 2003; (p. 19)
Stirring Struggle Endures to This Day Richard Jinman , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 April 2003; (p. 20)
Jinman discusses with Seymour his inspiration for writing The One Day of the Year and highlights the changes (and similiarities) in Australian society during the forty-plus years since the play's original production.
An Old War Horse Returns to the Fray Alan Seymour , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Newswrite : The Newsletter of the New South Wales Writers' Centre , April no. 125 2003; (p. 7, 32)
Alan Seymour discusses the 2003 Sydney Theatre Company Production of The One Day of the Year, retraces its turbulent beginnings at the Adelaide Festival of 1960 and comments on the currency of the play 43 years after it was first written.
y The One Day David Malouf , Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2015 Z1101325 2003 single work essay

''Silence was a deeply established tradition. Men used it as a form of self-protection; it saved those who had experienced the horrors of war from the emotional trauma of experiencing it all over again in the telling. And it saved women and children, back home, from the terrible knowledge of what they had seen and walked away from … One result of this was that the men who had actually lived through Gallipoli and the trenches did not write about it.'

'In the century since the Gallipoli landing, Anzac Day has taken on a different tenor for each succeeding generation. Perceptively and evocatively, David Malouf traces the meaning of this 'one day' when Australians stop to reflect on endurance, service and the folly of war. He shows how what was once history has now passed into legend, and how we have found in Anzac Day 'a truly national occasion.'' (Publication summary)

Homefront Battlefireld John McCallum , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 11 April 2003; (p. 14)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Still the Most Emotive Day of the Year Alan Seymour , 1997 single work column biography
— Appears in: The Australian , 25 April 1997; (p. 15)
Harsh Lessons of War and Peace Samela Harris , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 5 March 1997; (p. 20)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Anzac Play Brings Author Back Home Ron Banks , 1996 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 29 March 1996; (p. 4)
Seymour Speaks Out on Anzac Play Ban Ron Banks , 1996 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 2 April 1996; (p. 5)
Another Day James Waites , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 August 1996; (p. 15)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Came the Dawn Alan Seymour , 1995 single work prose biography
— Appears in: Westerly , Summer vol. 40 no. 4 1995; (p. 5-12)
Australian Classic Relevant as Ever Ron Banks , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 1 April 1995; (p. 5)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
The One Day of the Year 1964 single work review
— Appears in: The Realist , June no. 15 1964; (p. 18)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Homefront Battlefireld John McCallum , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 11 April 2003; (p. 14)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Dynamic Take on Timeless Classic of Failed Dreams Peter Wilkins , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 April 2008; (p. 9)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Anzacs and Angries M. Harris , 1960 single work review
— Appears in: Nation , 30 July 1960; (p. 19)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
"The One Day of the Year" : a Discussion Gordon Kirby , 1961 single work review
— Appears in: Melbourne University Magazine , Spring 1961; (p. 68-69)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Anzac and Son M. Armstrong , 1961 single work review
— Appears in: Prospect , vol. 4 no. 3 1961; (p. 32)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Day in Melbourne James Merralls , 1961 single work review
— Appears in: Nation , 15 July 1961; (p. 21)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Drama in Sydney Joan C. Kelly , 1961 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Quarterly , vol. 33 no. 2 1961; (p. 126-127)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Alan Seymour's Play Brek , 1961 single work review
— Appears in: Nation , 6 May 1961; (p. 19-20) A Leader of His Craft : Theatre Reviews by H. G. Kippax 2004; (p. 70-73)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled Peter Ward , 1962 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August vol. 1 no. 10 1962; (p. 124)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Conflict Kevon Kemp , 1964 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 14 March vol. 86 no. 4386 1964; (p. 43-44)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Indigenous Drama and The One Day of the Year Graham Scott , 1969 single work review
— Appears in: Idiom , no. 9 1969; (p. 15-21)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Fathers and Sons Rex Cramphorn , 1970 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 25 April vol. 92 no. 4700 1970; (p. 51)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled Katharine Brisbane , 1970 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 April 1970; (p. 21)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled Virginia Fraser , 1970 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 25 April 1970; (p. 18)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled H. G. Kippax , 1970 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 17 April 1970; (p. 18)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled K. Thomas , 1970 single work review
— Appears in: Nation , 2 May 1970; (p. 20)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Anzac Then and Now Gerald Mayhead , 1974 single work review
— Appears in: The Herald , 13 March 1974; (p. 38)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled Hope Hewitt , 1980 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 21 April 1980; (p. 11)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Untitled M. Morley , 1980 single work review
— Appears in: Theatre Australia , vol. 4 no. 11 1980; (p. 36-37)

— Review of The One Day of the Year Alan Seymour 1960 single work drama
Tiny Voice Amid Giants' Din Alan Seymour , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 28 March 2003; (p. 19)
Stirring Struggle Endures to This Day Richard Jinman , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 April 2003; (p. 20)
Jinman discusses with Seymour his inspiration for writing The One Day of the Year and highlights the changes (and similiarities) in Australian society during the forty-plus years since the play's original production.
An Old War Horse Returns to the Fray Alan Seymour , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Newswrite : The Newsletter of the New South Wales Writers' Centre , April no. 125 2003; (p. 7, 32)
Alan Seymour discusses the 2003 Sydney Theatre Company Production of The One Day of the Year, retraces its turbulent beginnings at the Adelaide Festival of 1960 and comments on the currency of the play 43 years after it was first written.
y The One Day David Malouf , Collingwood : Black Inc. , 2015 Z1101325 2003 single work essay

''Silence was a deeply established tradition. Men used it as a form of self-protection; it saved those who had experienced the horrors of war from the emotional trauma of experiencing it all over again in the telling. And it saved women and children, back home, from the terrible knowledge of what they had seen and walked away from … One result of this was that the men who had actually lived through Gallipoli and the trenches did not write about it.'

'In the century since the Gallipoli landing, Anzac Day has taken on a different tenor for each succeeding generation. Perceptively and evocatively, David Malouf traces the meaning of this 'one day' when Australians stop to reflect on endurance, service and the folly of war. He shows how what was once history has now passed into legend, and how we have found in Anzac Day 'a truly national occasion.'' (Publication summary)

Remembering Masculinities in the Theatre of War Jonathan Bollen , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April no. 46 2005; (p. 3-19)
Surveys post-war theatrical productions of plays which articulate men's experiences at war and back home. '...this article explores the propagation of gender anxieties in performance during the post-war period of suburban expansion. In contrast with more recent productions which have sought to celebrate the survival, ingenuity and achievements of Australian men at war, productions from the post-war period were less overtly nationalistic and less assertively masculinist. ... post-war productions celebrated less the heroism of men at war than the nostalgia of their returning home' (3).
Myth Bruce Bennett , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Civilisation 1994; (p. 58-73) Homing In : Essays on Australian Literature and Selfhood 2006; (p. 15-29; notes 260-262)
The Play on Anzac Day Ron Cerabona , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 April 2008; (p. 19)
y Companion to Ray Lawler, The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Alan Seymour, The One Day of the Year J. G. Baker , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1965 Z1556867 1965 single work criticism
Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day : An Anzac Day Play on British Television Susan Lever , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 9 2009;
'Though a few naturalist plays from the 1950s and 1960s are acknowledged in Australian drama history, the plays written for television by Australians who went to Britain and America have disappeared from consideration. This article discusses one of them, Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day as an example of the naturalism current in British television in the early 1960s. It discusses the play's deliberate restraint and depiction of 'ordinary' people. It also places the play in the context of other Australian plays that use Anzac Day or the veteran's reunion as subject matter. A copy of the screenplay is appended.'
A Theatrical Turning Point Philip O'Brien , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 July 2010; (p. 9)
Alan Seymour Jennifer Palmer (interviewer), 1979 single work interview
— Appears in: Contemporary Australian Playwrights 1979; (p. 56-68)
Festival Turns to the 'Hood to Get its Groove Back Wendy Frew , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 October 2011; (p. 16)
'The Space Between' : Representing 'Youth' on the Contemporary Australian Stage Richard Jordan , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Space Between : Representing 'Youth' on the Contemporary Australian Stage 2005; (p. 1-44; 107-126)
The 'Deficit of Remembrance' : The Great War Revival in Australia and Ireland Dominic Bryan , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 163-186)
Australian Drama in the Seventies: Vulgarity or a Vulgate? Peter Pierce , 1980 single work criticism
— Appears in: Current Affairs Bulletin , February vol. 56 no. 9 1980; (p. 4-15)
Drama Terry Sturm , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Oxford History of Australian Literature 1981; (p. 175-267)
Enter Television Drama, and The One Day of the Year Leslie Rees , 1973 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Making of Australian Drama : A Historical and Critical Survey from the 1830s to the 1970s 1973; (p. 303-332)
Alan Seymour Alrene Sykes , 1974 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 6 no. 3 1974; (p. 277-287)
One Image of Australia Alan Seymour , 1967 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , Winter vol. 26 no. 2 1967; (p. 223-229)
Some Recent Australian Plays R. F. Brissenden , 1962 single work criticism
— Appears in: Texas Quarterly , Summer vol. 5 no. 2 1962; (p. 185-192)
Last amended 22 Jan 2014 10:06:28
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