Play with music.
Set in Australia between 1787 to 1883 (Act 1) and 1883 to the present day (Act 2) Some Of My Best Friends Are Women is a collaborative effort between Leonard and Thérèse Radic. The play, which also marks Thérèse Radic's first venture into theatrical writing, was inspired by their research into Australian theatre during the 1975 International Women's Year. One particular aspect they focused on was the neglect of Australian women on the Australian stage.
Designed for a cast of five or six, the play is described by its authors as an anthology of writings, speeches, songs and documents by or about Australian women. The play compiles this scrapbook of the history of women while at the same time defying theatrical stereotyping. The Radics have included a whole host of characters, including the 'damned whores of Parramatta's Female factory, the currency lasses, Caroline Chisolm's God's police, the forgotten diarists, the suffragettes, the madams, and the modern campaigner's for equality' (Age 17 July 1976, p2).
The musical element requires all characters to sing, as well as at least one male and one female to be capable of playing a guitar and/or other instrument. Much of the musical material is made up of well-known traditional songs.
First staged by the Melbourne Theatre Company at St Martins Theatre, Melbourne on 15 July 1975. Director Ray Lawler (q.v.). The music was arranged by Thérèse Radic. A production was also staged in 1992 at the Hyde Street Barracks, Sydney.