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y separately published work icon The Bottom of a Birdcage single work   drama   crime   - Two acts
Issue Details: First known date: 1955... 1955 The Bottom of a Birdcage
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Granpa and Lady live alone in the tenement and have always schemed to keep it that way. Lady becomes fond of their newest tenant, Lad, but eventually he goes too. After Lady commits manslaughter against the milkman, she leaves and Granpa gets the place to himself.


  • Characters

    Lad: a country boy, about 18.

    Lady: 40ish.

    Granpa: a pensioner.

    Ernie: a milkman, 40ish.

    Mr Hoggett: rent-collector. 


    'A slum tenement near the river. Seen as though the side wall is removed to show ground floor level with street at front, with ground falling away sharply at back so that floor below is lit from light coming in glass panes in rear door via an area. Floor below that is a cellar used as living-room. Stairs come down from top to bottom. Lad's door is on street level, Lady's below, Granpa's door off living room. The three doors in line, each below the other. Bakc doors of eahc floor similarly below each other. but two upper ones have glass panels. Bottom one is solid. A parrot in a cage near rear door, top floor. Living-room has a centre table and three chairs. Cloth on table. Grouped round back door, a kitchen-area with table and drawers, sink with tap. Stovette and electric-jug on smaller table. Brooms on back of door. Garbage-tin under sink. Basin on draining-board. Crockery in cupboard under table etc.' [Copied verbatim from original script]



    Act 1 - 7am Thursday.

    Act 2 - 5pm Thursday.

Production Details

  • First produced under the title 'Emoh Rou' by the Ipswich Little Theatre Society at the Burley Griffin Incinerator Theatre, Ipswich, Qld, 3 March 1976. Director: Ian Pullar.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Helen Haenke Collection Helen Haenke , 1955-1989 14265233 1955 archive

    The University of Queensland's Fryer Library holds a substantial collection of Helen Haenke's literary works. The collection includes plays, short stories, novels, poems, and prose, all in manuscript form. Several of these works were published, but only the manuscript and electronic text versions are included in the collection. 

      Extent: [32],[31] leavesp.
      Description: Typescript (photocopy).
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • Original title Emoh Ruo scribbled over and replaced with above title.
      • Ms. emendations


      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Local Id: H0704
      Extent: 48l.p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • The Helen Haenke Collection at the University of Queensland's Fryer Library holds one copy of 'The Bottom of a Bird-Cage'. The copy is a photocopy of a script written with a typewriter onto white paper. The former title 'Emoh Ruo' has been crossed out with pen, and the new title is handwritten above it.


      Held at: National Library of Australia
    • Brisbane, Queensland,: Playlab , 1978 .
      Extent: 76p.
      Description: illus.
      • Includes Author's note, Ipswich, 1977
      ISBN: 0908156014
Last amended 12 Sep 2018 16:13:30
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