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The AustLit Australian Drama Archive

(Status : Public)
Coordinated by Australian Drama Archive
  • Oriel Gray (1920-2003)

    Oriel Gray was a successful playwright who worked in the theatre and with ABC radio for decades. Gray has the misfortune of being the co-winner, with her play The Torrents, of the 1957 Playwrights' Advisory Board award for the best play with Ray Lawler's Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Lawler's play went on to win international acclaim while Gray's did not receive the promised production and suffered from poor productions subsequently. 

  • AustLit record for Oriel Gray

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from Doollee.com

    Oriel Gray lived in Sydney during the early part of her writing career and later re-located to Melbourne. Gray's major output as a playwright was in the period from the 1940s to the 1960s. Her plays are regarded as being ahead of their time due to the complex manner in which they deal with social issues. Gray inventively addressed issues of Aboriginal rights, life in the bush, migrant experience and women's employment.

    Her first full-length play, Lawson, based on some of Henry Lawson's short stories, was produced by Sydney New Theatre, in 1943.

    See full AustLit entry
  • The Plays

  • The following plays have been digitised and delivered through AustLit, thanks to the generous support of Nic Hepworth, Oriel Gray's son. Had We But World Enough will be published in print by Playlab before it will be made available online through AustLit.

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      Lawson

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      Sur le Pont : A Play in One Act

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      Had We But World Enough

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      Sky Without Birds (Stage)

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      Sky Without Birds (Radio)

  • Significant Work about Oriel Gray

    Explore the many works written about Oriel Gray and her works through her AustLit record.


    In 2016, as a part of the development of the Australian Drama Archive, Jemimah Thompson, who was interning with AustLit, undertook research into the liminal space inhabited by Oriel Gray in the history of the Australian theatre industry. Her essay, The Dramatic Spaces of Oriel Gray, was published by AustLit as an accompaniment to the digitised plays.

  • Image Credits

    All images are public domain or without known copyright restrictions. Some have been slightly modified for publication.


    Sur La Pont

    Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library. "Harlem Bridge" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1885. Source


    Lawson

    Swagmen off on the track, Australia. Melbourne, Victoria : Victoria Stamp Market, approximately 1910. Via National Library of Australia. Source


    Had We But World Enough

    Domestic interior, 1969. Unidentified creator. Via John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Source


    Sky Without Birds (Stage)

    Cutting of the East-West Railway c.1901. Unidentified creator. Via State Library of South Australia. Source


    Sky without Birds (Radio)

    The rail head work south line, Adelaide to Darwin. 1928. Unidentified creator. Via State Library of South Australia. Source

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