y For the Term of His Natural Life single work   drama   - Five acts
Adaptation of His Natural Life Marcus Clarke 1870-1872 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1886 1886
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form y The Life of Rufus Dawes Alfred Rolfe , Australia : Spencer's Pictures , 1911 6186097 1911 single work film/TV historical fiction crime

Contemporary advertisements give the following details:


'ENGLAND. — Hampstead Heath — Sir Richard Devine slain by Rex — His Son Dick accused — Parson North denounces Rex.

'VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. — Convict Settlement at Hell's Gate — Chain Gang — Gabbet's Escape and Capture — Chaplain North gives the Convicts Tobacco — Major Vickers announces the removal to Port Arthur — The Attack — The Departure.

'THE MUTINY. — On Board the Osprey — Captured by Convicts — The Mutineers Maroon Survivors.

'MAROONED. — Two weeks later — Rufus Dawes saved by Sylvia Vickers Three months later — Major Vickers' search for the Castaways — Death of Mrs. Vickers — Sylvia's memory lost through shock — Lieut. Frere accuses Rufus of the crime.

'PORT ARTHUR. — Dawes escapes — Sylvia fails to recognise him — Her memory returning, she wishes to see him — Lady Devine arrives to see her son.

'THE END.— Convicts Confess, and Innocence Proved, and Pardon Granted to "RUFUS DAWES".'


[Advertisement], Examiner [Launceston, Tasmania], 23 January 1912, p.1.

Production Details

  • First performed at the Royal Standard Theatre, Sydney, 5 June 1886. The season ran for forty-three performances. later Sydney seasons were mounted in 1887, 1893, 1895, 1899, 1901 and 1905. Also produced in Melbourne in October 1888, and again in 1890 and 1891. All three Melbourne seasons had limited runs.

    Written for the actor/manager Alfred Dampier.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1886 .
      (Manuscript) assertion


      Held at: Performing Arts Museum Research Library
First known date: 1886
Includes facsimile reproductions of the title page and a sample page of the typescript.
Music and lyrics for songs included in the play are published on pp.706-716.
Last amended 31 Oct 2014 15:41:48
  • c
    United Kingdom (UK),
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Van Diemen's Land (1803-1856), Tasmania,
  • Macquarie Harbour, Western Tasmania (including the West Coast), Tasmania,
  • 1827-1837
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