From the time Australians began making films, they began seeking source material in other publications. After all, they had already built a rich theatrical culture in part on adapting and burlesquing overseas material; why would early films not also benefit from this process?
Then came radio, and then television, and still the process of adaptation remained central to the industries.
Furthermore, the process of adaptation was never simply a one-way street, not solely a matter of bringing American and European texts to Australian screens. The American and British industries, too, were adapting Australian works for their own markets, especially the works of prolific playwrights C. Haddon Chambers and Dion Titheradge. Australians also looked to their own literary output, bringing Australian-written novels, plays, and even poems to the screen.
This exhibition, supported by the ARC-funded Discovery Project, DP130101455 ‘Media Transformation in its Australian and International Contexts: Analysis and Theory-building’ by Prof. Tom O'Regan, begins to explore the tradition of adaptation in Australian films, radio, and television.