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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

McCallum draws attention to a number of neglected plays of the 1920s-1950s in the Howard Collection and discusses the reasons why they were neglected unlike, for instance, the plays of Louis Esson. He argues that many of the best Campbell Howard plays didn't fit into the standard history of Australian drama. However, many skillful and professional playwrights whose scripts Howard collected were trying to write for the commercial theatre, and, a nationalist theatre lacking, wrote genre plays, "mostly realistic melodramas, thrillers and drawing room comedies" - the truly neglected Australian plays. Focussing on the sub-genres of bush realist melodrama, station dramas, family sagas, and country town comedies and dramas, McCallum's essay looks at a number of these plays, and at the interaction between genre and the goals of the nationalists.

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Last amended 18 Apr 2003