Drought single work   drama   - One act
First known date: 1924 Issue Details: First known date: 1924 1924
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AbstractHistory

After years of drought, selectors Joe and Ellie have reached their breaking point. In fact the struggle has brought them to the brink of madness. The pair argue and reminisce about everything and nothing before Joe finally decides in a moment of clarity that Ellie should leave and go back to her family in the city. Although she is somewhat hesitant Joe begs her to go quickly before his sanity leaves him. Ellie gathers a few possessions and walks to the door. As she is about to leave she notices that the sky is getting dark. 'Clouds cranking' up a bit I expect,' says Joe, in reference to the smoke from the incessant bushfires. Ellie leaves and shortly afterwards Joe turns his rifle on himself. At the same time he fires the gun a crack of thunder is heard, followed by the sound of wild rain. Moments later his wife rushes in....

The play is set entirely within the livingroom of a bush shanty situated near the Bogan River, New South Wales.

Adaptations

Drought M. S. Armstrong , 1934 single work radio play

Set in a small bush shanty in outback New South Wales a husband and wife reach breaking point in the struggle against drought.

Notes

  • One of three prize winners in the International One-Act Play Theatre's 1934 competition.

Production Details

  • First produced by the Presbyterian Ladies' College Old Collegians' Association at the Playhouse, Melbourne, 24-25 June 1924.

    Revivals of Drought have included:

    1924: Playhouse, Melbourne (Victoria); 24 June

    1934: St. Martin's Theatre, Camden, London (England); 3 June

    1936: [no details], Sydney; 26 March

    • Company Junior Theatre League

    1936: Little Theatre, Sydney; 13 June

    • Director George Paizie

    1936: The Repertory Club Theatre, Perth; 2 July

    1936: Bryant's Playhouse, Darlinghurst (Sydney); 4 December

    1959: Ipswich Civic Hall, Ipswich (Queensland); 16 July

    • Presented as part of the Ipswich One-Act Play Festival.

    1960: Union Hall, Adelaide; 12 April

    • Director Inta Strods

    1964: Albert Hall, Brisbane; 30 September

    • Presented during the Warana Festival by the Nambour Little Theatre.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Prize One-Act Plays London : Harrap , 1934 Z815093 1934 anthology drama London : Harrap , 1934 pg. 77-93
  • Appears in:
    y Plays in One Act M. S. Armstrong , Sydney : Edwards and Shaw , 1958 Z510048 1958 selected work drama Sydney : Edwards and Shaw , 1958

Works about this Work

Australian Woman Writer Wins Play Award 1934 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 July 1934; (p. 9)
Drought : Australian Woman's Success 1934 single work column
— Appears in: The Examiner , 30 August 1934; (p. 9)

Discusses Armstrong's successful play Drought which was performed in London at St Martin's Theatre subsequent to winning praise in Australia.

Also provides details of Armstrong's war service and establishment of a soldier settler farm which she received after returning from active nursing duty in France.

Australian Plays 1934 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 29 November 1934; (p. 12)

— Review of Drought M. S. Armstrong 1924 single work drama ; The Enchanted Tryst : a fantasy play in verse Marjorie McLeod 1934 single work drama
One-Act Play Prize Award 1924 single work column
— Appears in: The Argus , 5 January 1924; (p. 18)
An Australian Play Winner of Rupert Brooke Prize 1924 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 25 June 1924; (p. 9)

— Review of Drought M. S. Armstrong 1924 single work drama
Australian Plays 1934 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 29 November 1934; (p. 12)

— Review of Drought M. S. Armstrong 1924 single work drama ; The Enchanted Tryst : a fantasy play in verse Marjorie McLeod 1934 single work drama
An Australian Play Winner of Rupert Brooke Prize 1924 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 25 June 1924; (p. 9)

— Review of Drought M. S. Armstrong 1924 single work drama
Australian Woman Writer Wins Play Award 1934 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 July 1934; (p. 9)
One-Act Play Prize Award 1924 single work column
— Appears in: The Argus , 5 January 1924; (p. 18)
Drought : Australian Woman's Success 1934 single work column
— Appears in: The Examiner , 30 August 1934; (p. 9)

Discusses Armstrong's successful play Drought which was performed in London at St Martin's Theatre subsequent to winning praise in Australia.

Also provides details of Armstrong's war service and establishment of a soldier settler farm which she received after returning from active nursing duty in France.

Last amended 25 May 2016 12:40:15
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  • Bogan River, Bourke - Brewarrina area, Far West NSW, New South Wales,
  • 1902
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