y History of Australia : The Musical single work   musical theatre   - Two acts
Note: Lyrics by Tim Robertson and Don Watson with John Romeril; music by Martin Armiger, George Dreyfus and David King.
Issue Details: First known date: 1988 1988
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Notes

  • Controversial musical, loosely based on History of Australia by Manning Clark, which attracted strong criticism before closing after a brief season leaving large financial debts.
  • Commissioned by: Victoria's 150th Anniversary Committee, The Australian Bicentennial Authority.
  • Dedication: To Manning and Dymphna Clark, great-hearted originals, generous hosts and enfailing encouragers, of whom the characters in this entertainment are the merest ciphers. Let this be as a song and dance line between Boho and Wapengo.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Production Details

  • First produced at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, 10 January 1988. With David King as musical director and conducter.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1988

Works about this Work

Your History : Manning Clark's History of Australia and the End of the New Wave Alison Richards , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April no. 64 2014; (p. 177-198)
' 'Ned's is a bitch legend - wrong from the start - but Australia's in it - yes; something of a country where only eagles are fit to travel the skies, and men like eagles to ride it.' According to historian Manning Clark, these lines, spoken by the actor playing Joe Byrne in a production of Donald Stewart's Ned Kelly at the University of Melbourne in 1944, 'started me off on a great journey'. Forty years later, his compliment to the theatre was returned by Tim Robertson and Don Watson in their project to adapt Clark's massive, six-volume A History of Australia ('History') for the stage.' (Publication abstract)
Clark Claque Still at It Peter Ryan , 2007 single work correspondence
— Appears in: The Australian , 15 February 2007; (p. 11)
y John Bell : The Time of My Life John Bell , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2002 Z989947 2002 single work autobiography This literary, funny and moving account of a life in the Australian theatre and five years in the English theatre includes the excitement of Australian theatre and drama in the 1970s and John Bell's association with playwrights such as Peter Kenna and Ron Blair, and his establishment of Nimrod Street Theatre with Ken Horler. It includes the triumphs and failures of the 1980s, including the 'glorious ...and significant' 'failure' of History of Australia : The Musical, and Bell's work during the last decade of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century in establishing and building the Bell Shakespeare Company.
Phoenix Bound for Texas Tim Robertson , 1995 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 27 June 1995; (p. 24)
Behind Don Watson John Larkin (interviewer), 1989 single work interview
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 21 January 1989; (p. 46)
At Last, After 200 Years, it's MANNING CLARK the Musical Caroline Baum , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 2-3 January 1988; (p. 7)
History - the Musical : A Review and a Retrospect Peter Fitzpatrick , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Historical Studies , October vol. 23 no. 91 1988; (p. 171-179)
Clark Claque Still at It Peter Ryan , 2007 single work correspondence
— Appears in: The Australian , 15 February 2007; (p. 11)
Behind Don Watson John Larkin (interviewer), 1989 single work interview
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 21 January 1989; (p. 46)
At Last, After 200 Years, it's MANNING CLARK the Musical Caroline Baum , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 2-3 January 1988; (p. 7)
History - the Musical : A Review and a Retrospect Peter Fitzpatrick , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Historical Studies , October vol. 23 no. 91 1988; (p. 171-179)
Phoenix Bound for Texas Tim Robertson , 1995 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 27 June 1995; (p. 24)
y John Bell : The Time of My Life John Bell , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2002 Z989947 2002 single work autobiography This literary, funny and moving account of a life in the Australian theatre and five years in the English theatre includes the excitement of Australian theatre and drama in the 1970s and John Bell's association with playwrights such as Peter Kenna and Ron Blair, and his establishment of Nimrod Street Theatre with Ken Horler. It includes the triumphs and failures of the 1980s, including the 'glorious ...and significant' 'failure' of History of Australia : The Musical, and Bell's work during the last decade of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century in establishing and building the Bell Shakespeare Company.
Your History : Manning Clark's History of Australia and the End of the New Wave Alison Richards , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Drama Studies , April no. 64 2014; (p. 177-198)
' 'Ned's is a bitch legend - wrong from the start - but Australia's in it - yes; something of a country where only eagles are fit to travel the skies, and men like eagles to ride it.' According to historian Manning Clark, these lines, spoken by the actor playing Joe Byrne in a production of Donald Stewart's Ned Kelly at the University of Melbourne in 1944, 'started me off on a great journey'. Forty years later, his compliment to the theatre was returned by Tim Robertson and Don Watson in their project to adapt Clark's massive, six-volume A History of Australia ('History') for the stage.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 21 Jan 2011 11:31:09
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