'This collection, introduced by John McCallum, includes three previously unpublished works: Jonah, a Brechtian musical reinvention of Louis Stone's novel of the same name; Top End, a political drama set in Darwin during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, and Lost Weekend which takes a class-based look at 'Australianess'. They are published together with Romeril's best-known play, The Floating World, the story of a returned serviceman's descent into madness on a cruise ship bound for Japan.
'Romeril's writing conveys the immediacy of the times that stems from his beginnings as an agitprop writer, but he focuses on everyday lives. The plays in Damage explore the twentieth century stresses and strains, the damage we do and the damage done to us.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Jonah, born a hunchback, is feared and revered in equal measure as the ruthless leader of the Push, a violent gang that terrorises the slums of Waterloo. Chook, a fellow member of the Push, is Jonah's loyal best friend. But after a chance encounter with his son, the result of a casual affair, Jonah decides to abandon the larrikin life and settle down. He marries Ada, the mother of his child, and takes advantage of an opportunity to open his own business. Chook, too, leaves the Push and finds love in the arms of factory worker, Pinkey. But can either man escape his awful past?'