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y separately published work icon Dutch Treat single work   musical theatre   humour   satire  
Issue Details: First known date: 1976... 1976 Dutch Treat
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Described by Errol O'Neil as relatively simple, and in a more agit-prop style than previous productions, Dutch Treat's topical subject matter also gave it an immediate impact with audiences. O'Neil further notes:

The idea for the show came from journalist Anthony Samson, who suggested in a book on the activities of multi-national companies that they were modern-day pirates in the precise sense of having allegiance to no nation but simply operating under flags of convenience. Dutch Treat had characters dressed as pirates but carrying businessmen's umbrellas and, in a Hollywood swashbuckling pirate musical style combined with agit-prop placards and demonstration scenes, analysed the role of international capital in Australia, particularly after the sacking of the Whitlam government in November 1975.

Source: Errol O'Neill. Challenging the Centre, p.65.


  • Play was workshopped in Adelaide and Melbourne early in 1976 and then joined the repertoire in April for a mid-year tour to North Queensland. When senior members of the Amalgamated Metal Workers' Union saw the show in Townsville they began negotiations with the Popular Theatre Troupe that led to a major AMMWU-sponsored tour of Sydney factory sites in 1977 (O'Neill, p.65).

Production Details

  • 1976: First staged during the Popular Theatre Troupes North Queensland tour; April

    • Director Richard Fotheringham
    • Cast: Kathryn Porrill, Margaret Bornhorst, Roslyn Atkinson, Duncan Campbell, Nick Hughes.
    • NB: From July 1976 Margaret Bornhorst and Kathryn Porrill were replaced by Judith James and Janet Mahoney.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 4 Nov 2016 08:09:38