Julia oversees a benevolent foundation established by her husband. Among its beneficiaries she funded art through Leon, a senior detective of art forgery, science through Joe, a medical researcher and literature through Charlie, the young writer. Julia is acutely aware of human frailty and is generous in her need to right wrongs – and now she has the power to change the world. She listens, she observes, but she wants to do something more.
'In blazing heat, a stolen mini hurtles towards Sydney. Inside, three teenagers from the country - Snake, Aspro and Dean - plan a future that will begin when they collect Aspro’s accident compo from the Department. Joined by Donald, an opera fanatic desperate for a change of scene, they travel to the city to take up residence in ‘the largest block of flats in the Southern Hemisphere’.
'As bush fires rage on the edge of the city, they meet Desiree, a young girl from downstairs with apocalyptic predictions.
'Sparks fly. Tensions escalate. Twilight approaches…'
Source: Griffin Theatre Company (2008 production).Sydney : Currency Press Nimrod Theatre Company , 1983
'Brutality in the workplace, rage in the streets, seething in the home. The vulnerability of political parties when they’ve forgotten why they’re there. The intellectual torpor of modern Australia. How power corrupts.
'Stephen Sewell’s play is an angry and tender depiction of an idealist who becomes so embroiled in a party power struggle that he loses sight of what’s at stake. When it premiered in 1983, The Blind Giant is Dancing felt like a sharp slap in the face. And in an age of ICAC, Union credit cards, speculative housing bubbles, a pulverised working class, vapid leadership… it’s definitely time for another look at this Australian classic.
'Artistic Director Eamon Flack begins his tenure with a company of twelve of the country’s great actors and one of the country’s great plays.'
Source: Belvoir 2016 production summary.Sydney : Currency Press , 1983
A translation and adaptation of Moliere's Don Juan, by Australian playwright Nick Enright.Paddington : Currency Press State Theatre Company of South Australia , 1984
Play with music.
Explores Louisa Lawson's relationships with her father, Henry Albury, her husband Peter Larsen, and Henry Lawson, her son.Sydney : Currency Press Tasmanian Theatre Trust , 1985
'In 1939, a lost tribe of Europeans was discovered in the Tasmanian wilderness. They were a band of outcasts who had escaped the torture of convict life, scratching out an existence at the forgotten edge of the island, alone for almost a century.
'Inspired by this true story, writer Louis Nowra (Cosi, Radiance) penned The Golden Age – an extraordinary play that blends historical fact, Australian folklore and poetic language to create a post-colonial myth for our times. Nowra’s outcasts have developed a culture and dialect all of their own, but their bodies are failing them and their very existence is in danger. Brought back into the fold of Australian society, what fate awaits this band of exiles?'
Source: Sydney Theatre Company (2016 revival).Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1985
A play about Australian Rules football, Royboys focuses on the fate of the Fitzroy Football Club.
The cast calls for a musician (dressed as a footy supporter) who plays songs and provides sound effects. The production notes also call for "a navel or military or municipal band" to play emotional propaganda tunes for about twenty minutes or so prior to the start of the play. Songs such as 'Moreton Bay', 'Click Go the Shears', 'Waltzing Matilda', 'Advance Australia Fair' etc are suggested, as is the winding up to a feverish rendition of the Fitzroy Football Club's anthem 'La Marseillaise!'Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1987
'CHO CHO SAN was powerfully moving. The tragedy of a delicate, naive girl caught between two cultures, hopelessly trapped, hopefully yearning and with all hope destroyed, was told through resonant music and lyrics. Singer/actors and life-sized puppets manipulated by visible puppeteers played dual roles. Cho Cho San herself was represented by an actor, and by her alter ego puppet, Butterfly; Goro, the Japanese marriage broker, by an actor and a grotesque puppet of himself; Pinkerton, Kate and Sharpless, Westerners and the Chorus were actors, and the child of two cultures was a white-faced, innocently featureless baby puppet, smothered to death at the hands of its despairing mother in this new version of the story.'
Source: Handspan Theatre (http://handspantheatre.com.au/info/Cho+Cho+San).Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre Company B Belvoir , 1987
'Black Rabbit is a story about white man's colonisation of Australia, told through the story of an Aboriginal tribal couple, and their fate at the bounty hunter's hands.' (Source: AusStage website)Sydney : Currency Press , 1988
'A storm shakes the Gleason homestead, but it's the tempest inside that spells the family's end. 25 years after its premiere, Stephen Sewell's portrait of a monstrous patriarch who would be the country's king remains startlingly relevant. An uncanny sense of regression hangs over an all-too-familiar portrait of Australian politics in which power, fear and violence are inextricable.'
Source: Malthouse Theatre (2013 season).Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Belvoir Street Theatre Playbox Theatre , 1988
Set in the exciting and bizarre world of post-war Kings Cross. Tim, a young writer, arrives in Sydney to explore the temptations offered to delight a war-weary population, but must choose between his love for the city and an offer to try his luck on the international theatre circuit.Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1989
Hotel Sorrento is a vivid, moving and funny play which explores the concept of loyalty both to family and to country. Three sisters come together after ten years: Hilary who lives in Sorrento with her father and her sixteen-year-old son; Pippa visiting from New York where she works in advertising; and Meg, who returns home from England with her English husband after her new novel Melancholy is shortlisted for the Booker prize. Unspoken aspects of their shared past, jolted by the autobiographical flavour of Meg's book, haunt their reunion.
Coincidentally, Marge, a teacher, with a holiday house in Sorrento, reads the novel and finds it captures an Australia she knows. Her friend, Dick, however, is worried by Meg's expatriate status. This interest draws them into the family where the issues of culture, patriotism, and using the past are battled out.
Source: Publisher's blurb (back cover).Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1990
Play with music
Set initially in Greece and then Australia (the family shop and home), Greek dialogue is used throughout the play. The production calls for an on-stage musician to provide both a live soundtrack to various parts of the production and to support the singing and dancing. Much of the music is Greek in origin, and includes a Byzantine Hymn. The script further suggests, if possible, the inclusion of a bouzouki musician.Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1990
Play with music.
A blend of biography, song, poetry, story and dialogue Earthly Paradise tells the story of the life of writer Lesbia Harford, a passionate and idealist rebel and one of Melbourne University's first female law graduates. Inspired by socialism she denied her wealthy background to fight for a just and vital society, initially working in a clothing factory and later becoming a trade union organiser.
The play contains both solo and chorus singing, and some instrumental music (scored for grand piano, synthesiser, percussion and viola). The two musicians are seen on stage in silhouette or half light.
The lyrics for these songs are derived from The Poems of Lesbia Harford (1941 & 1985).Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1991
'A cunning web of truth, lies, self-delusion and depravity, set against the backgrounds of Manila and Melbourne. Jean, an award-winning journalist, travels to the Philippines to write an exposé of Australian sex tours. Blackmail and revolution were not in the original brief, but as the lives of the six infidels mesh together, there are no rules and many surprises.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre Centre, Monash University , 1992
Play with music.
Adapted from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Popular Mechanicals is described by theatre critic Bob Evans as a low-brow, absurdist and occasionally poetical play without the play ('The Popular Mechanicals' q.v., p2). While most of the scenes from Shakespeares's comedy are presented, Robinson and Taylor have inserted into its framework a combination of songs, puppetry, their own material (including jokes), and excerpts from other works by Shakespeare's (notably speeches from Richard II and Henry V).
The most significant departure from the original text occurs during the scene in which Bottom is transformed into an ass while rehearsing in the woods. His replacement is Ralph Mowldie, a once great Shakespearian actor with a drinking problem.Sydney : Currency Press Belvoir Street Theatre , 1992
'Louis Nowra’s Radiance is an exuberant black sabbath for three great Indigenous dames. It begins conventionally enough: Mae, Nona and Cressy gather at the old Queenslander in the tropics for Mum’s funeral. But these three sisters are forces of nature, and they haven’t been in the same room for years, and years. It isn’t long before that old house can’t contain the joy and pain of them all being together again…
'Radiance began its life at Belvoir in 1993. After 22 years, Nowra’s feat of playwriting – almost Shakespearean, a Tempest-like packet of lust, rage, grief and high-flying foolery – is ready to be unleashed again. Leah Purcell is the woman for the job.
'Purcell is a powerhouse. She burst onto the national stage nearly two decades ago and is as full of fight and life as she ever was. What better idea than for this all-round theatre elder to direct herself in this mighty little classic?' (2015 Production summary)Paddington : Currency Press Belvoir Street Theatre , 1993
'A rooky police constable is posted to a small outback town, but this time the constable is a woman of Italian ethnic background, Constable Maria Giotto. And, what is more, she is a volunteer transferee.
'Maria becomes friendly with an Aboriginal family, and finds herself caught between her loyalty to her Aboriginal friends and loyalty to her fellow police officers.
'Newcomer Maria is not the only police officer experiencing difficulty in meeting the demands of friendship and the requirements of the police bureaucracy. Sergeant Alec Ross, close to retirement, is also an old friend of Paddy, the Aboriginal man.
'The country town is torn by racial and cultural conflict, which culminates in the death in custody of Paddy's son, Paul.'
Nugent, Ann. 'Drama Set in Country Town Tackles Difficult Social Issues', Canberra Times, 30 August 1993, p.15.Paddington : Currency Press , 1993
Evelyn Carrol leaves the country town where she grew up and goes to Sydney to work for Blue, an author of children's books. Blue inhabits a mysterious stone cathedral, Blackrock, which rises up out of Sydney Harbour. Acting as Evelyn's mentor, Blue leads Evelyn on a journey of self-discovery that is at once magical, sensuous and frightening. Must she completely surrender her own sense of reality to access this infinitely more seductive world? A what price is she prepared to learn the truth that lies hidden within the walls of Blackrock?
(Source: Currency Press)Paddington : Currency Press , 1994
Sanctuary is the story of Australia's most successful expatriate journalist cum foreign affairs commentator, Mr Robert 'Bob' King, who has made a career for himself as a distinguished journalist with Time magazine and then moved to anchorman on CBS. He comes home to Australia to live in relative isolation at the age of 48 in Sanctuary Cove. Nobody can quite understand this move. A young Ph.D. student comes up to check facts about the biography he is writing about Mr Bob King's life. Mr King is canny enough to realise that the biography is probably not going to be totally favourable but he gets a shock when he realises just how unfavourable the biography is.
It is a look at the way our so-called free press is actually a fairly tightly controlled and un-free press; it's also a look at the way we lie about the nature of our achievements in our life. The conflict between the two protagonists on these issues gets quite acute. David Williamson.(ii).Paddington Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1994
'Many diverse lives hurtle together in this play—a former hippy entering the political limelight, her musician brother, a right-wing philosopher and a young, disturbed woman.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Sydney : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1994
Play with music.
Loosely based on Nowra's own experience at producing a play (Trial by Jury) at Melbourne's Plenty Mental Home, Cosi has become a favourite with theatre companies and audiences alike since it premiered in 1992. Full of theatrical jokes and roles rich with Jonsonian humour, the play's use of a play rehearsal device also provokes images of the not-too dissimilar 'families' that come together in the professional theatre. Indeed, Nowra notes in the premiere season's programme notes that 'like the actual events of those days [the play] is, I hope, full of comedy and affection. Real madness and angst only occurred when I worked with professional actors'.
Set in 1971, Cosi takes an affectionate look at madness and mayhem in a world where institutions can be less limiting than ideology. The narrative is played out two locations, a mental institution and a suburban backyard. , Fresh from university, Lewis (a play on Louis) arrives to direct a play with the inmates, but is persuaded by Roy to stage his favourite opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. Lewis' problems don't end, however, with the fact that the other inmates are neither opera singers nor Italian-speakers. There is Ruth, troubled by the concept of a real illusion ; Zac, who insists on playing Wagner ; Doug, who is committed to the closed ward ; not to mention the sexual advances by Cherry and Julie. Lewis's world is no less complicated at home, where he has to contend with escaping pigs, exploding beer bottles and the pretensions of his politically correct friends.
The music incorporated into the narrative includes: 'Wild Thing' (by The Troggs), various songs from Cosi Fan Tutte, 'Purple Haze' (Jimmy Hendrix) 'Candy Says' (a Velvet Underground song, pre-recorded), and Wagner's 'The Ride Of The Valkyries'.Sydney : Currency Press Belvoir Street Theatre , 1994
'Good Works is an enthralling memory play set across several decades and three generations. Centred on two boyhood friends whose family histories shape them as men, this is a tale of past crimes and misdemeanours, and innocence lost.'
Source: Production summary (Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 2015)Sydney Melbourne : Currency Press Playbox Theatre Centre, Monash University , 1995
Play with music.
A funny, passionate, erotic and disturbing epic voyage of self-discovery leads a woman named Silver through a fantastic world of vibrant images and events drawn from past legends and fables. Along the way she is transported back and forth between the suburban and the mythic.
The musical element combines pre-recorded music and vocal performance. The songs suggested are those by The Beatles, Rogers and Hammerstein, Puccini, Gregorian chants, and several famous Broadway musicals.Paddington : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1995
The Torrents is set in a newspaper office on an Australian gold-mining town in the late 19th century. It centres on a woman struggling to be accepted into the world of men.
It also focuses on a young engineer who dreams of improving the land in order to grow trees and crops but his ideas are blocked by the town elders.Paddington : Currency Press State Theatre Company of South Australia , 1996
'Vivien runs a group who visit prisoners. When a young murderer is released into Vivien’s care, public and private moralities clash.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Paddington : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1996
A celebration of life, love and family set in the remote Aboriginal community of Flat Creek, where life is pretty uncomplicated—until a Canberra bureaucrat returns home. (Source: Australian Plays website)Strawberry Hills : Currency Press Playbox Theatre Centre , 1997
'A reconciliation between a mother and the daughter she gave away at birth. Anna defines herself through her political conscience and she believes she has come to terms with her history until a young woman arrives at her door.'
Source: Australian Plays (https://australianplays.org/script/CP-283/) (Sighted 22/02/2018)Sydney : Currency Press , 1998
Stolen is based upon the lives of five Indigenous people, who go by the names of Sandy, Ruby, Jimmy, Anne and Shirley, who dealt with the issues for forceful removal by the Australian government.Strawberry Hills : Currency Press Playbox Theatre , 1998