Our Country’s Good

We had great hopes for this production at the National Theatre. The last Australian play we saw – When the Rain Stops Falling, Shaw Festival 2011- was excellent. This one did not live up to the standard.

It was an interesting view of the treatment of the prisoners transported to Australia by the soldiers sent to keep them in prison. The action also demonstrates the complete obliviousness of the British populations to the aboriginal people around them.

The most interesting thing about the evening was the actual stage, which has a wonderful round centre that can rise, tilt and rotate at the director’s pleasure. The second most interesting this was the open captioning for the deaf audience, which we found useful just to help with some of the accents.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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2 Responses to Our Country’s Good

  1. keithhpotter says:

    It is hard to believe the National would allow such an unfocussed production get to opening night! It certainly will not be one we’ll see on National Theatre Live.

    The staging and acting were fine, but the play itself, or rather the playwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker, could make up his mind what the focus of the story was to be. The play is nearly thirty years old, so Nadia Fall, the director, has to take responsibility for what we saw, there has been plenty of time and versions to fine tune the play. Perhaps if she had kept the doubling (soldiers/convicts) of the original version it might have had more impact.

    However, my view seems to be a minority one. The play has won various awards and the current production was well received by the London critics. Go figure.

    By the way, just to clarify: the play is about the founding of anglo Australia, but this is a British, probably English, play. (With a name like Wertenbaker, he has to be English, right?)

  2. keithhpotter says:

    Correction: Wertenbaker is a “She”, not a “He”. Whoops.

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