ON OUR SELECTION a dramatization from the books of Steele Rudd by Bert Bailey, adapted by George Whaley from November 6 to 21, 1981, at the S.G.I.O. Theatre, Brisbane, for the Queensland Theatre Company. Presented by arrangement with NIDA.
Directed by Peter Duncan; Designed by Graham Maclean; Lighting Design by David Malacari; Musical Director: Philip Robertson^; Stage Managed by Patrick Whelan; Assistant Stage Managed by Toby Simkin (I was also the chook handler) with additional musical and lyrics by Philip Robertson, Peter Duncan and Lloyd Nickson.
STARRING (in order of appearance) Peter Kingston (Dave); Neale Brumby (Joe); Eugene Gilfedder (Cranky Jack); Carole Skinner (Mother); Christine O’Connor (Sarah); Peter Noble (Jim Carey / Old Carey); Lyn Moorfoot (Kate); Harold Baigent (Dad); Ken Kennett (Maloney); Glenn Perry (Reverend McPherson / Billy Beanup); Bartholomew John (Sandy Taylor); Christine Jeston (Lily White) and Gaynor Wensley (Mrs White).
Understudy was Patrick Reed.
Queensland Theatre Company:
(collectively over my tenure)
Executive Staff: Alan Edwards, AM MBE (Founding Artistic Director); Peter Duncan* / Gregory Gesch* (Assistant Director); Arthur Frame AM (Production Manager); Gillian Coar (Executive Officer); Christine Walsh / Ken Kennett OAM (Public Relations & Publicity Officer); June Craw OAM (Finance and Business Officer); Lewis Savage (Subscriptions Officer); Helen Mayes (Clerical Assistant); Lloyd Nickson (Director, Theatre in Education); Richard Magnus (Fundraising Chairman); Diane Leith (Administration) and Susan Bonning / Jennie Lewis (Receptionist).
Production Staff: Graham Maclean / James Ridewood (Resident Designer); Bill Shannon / Beverley Hill (Design Assistant); Caroline Gyucha (Scenic Artist); James Henson (Lighting Designer); David Lees (Electrician); Michael Wormald / Gary Cameron / Paul Parkinson / David Palm (Properties); Howard Steele (Head Carpenter); Des Dougan / Peter Vosiliunas (Carpenter); Cornelis Boogaart* (Apprentice Carpenter); Marie Perry-Watson / Lexi Wright / Jay Mansfield-Askew / Cynthia Bowen (Wardrobe Supervisor); Ken Bushby / Thelma Cope / Meredith Fogg / Margaret Reeves / Danny Healy / Arlie McGill / Anne Long / Kerry Yates (Wardrobe); Ellen Kennedy / David McCrudden / Kit Oldfield / Patrick Whelan / Kristin Reuter / Jan Levi / Victor Ashelford / Colin Wilson / Barry Melville / Toby Simkin / Brian Barnes / Vito Arena / Peter Reeve± / Sussanne Humphries / Julianne White (Stage Management); Vicki Birch / Yvette (Capt) O’Brien (Production Secretary); Dawn Grieg (Wardrobe Hire) and Ivan/Gloria Pierce & Derrick George (Photographer).
Representation: Yolande Bird / Diana Franklin (London Representative); Michael Menzies (New York Representative) and John Krummel OAM (Sydney Casting & Repertoire Consultant).
S.G.I.O. Theatre Staff: Jim Wright (Manager); Alban Riley / Don Fergusson (Assistant Manager); Peter Petrovich / Ray Calcutt (Head Mechanist); Patrick (Paddy) Teuma / David Malacari (Head Electrician) and Dallas Black / Kay Fifas (Booking Office)
Albert Park Theatre Staff: Wayne McKenna (House Manager); Margo Morris (Box Office)
Associate Artists: Bille Brown AM; Carol Burns; Reginald Cameron OAM, Ivar Kants; Joe MacColum; Warren Mitchell; James Ridewood, Cliff Simcox; Babette Stephens AM MBE and Geraldine Turner OAM.
QTC Guild: Magda Wollner (Coordinator); Alice Beacroft, Joan Chamberlain, Bobbie Glyn Evans, Maureen Fallon, Sonja Farmer, Beryl Foote, Neil Fulwood, Dolores Garland, Elaine Heath, Edna Heathwood, Margaret Hill, Ena Huppert, June Jamieson, Eva Klug, Irene Lefman, Patrick Mellick, Hillary Mosten, Maureen Mortensen, Barbara Nielsen, Joyce Nixon Smith, Gloria Phillips, Vivienne Reddy, Marea Reed, Melina Reed, Margaret Robinson, Grace Reynolds, June Sheedy, Ann Shevill, Toby Simkin, Sybil Simpson, Elaine Skinner, Anne Smith and Jess Yeowart (Volunteers)
* Salaries were assisted by a special grant from the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, a statutory body of the Commonwealth Government.
± Services were provided by the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
^ Services were provided courtesy of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra
The Queensland Theatre Company acknowledged the financial assistance of the Queensland State Government and the Commonwealth Government through the Theatre Board of the Australia Council without which the continued operation of the Company would not have been possible.
The Queensland Theatre Company was a founding member of CAPPA (Confederation of Australia Professional Performing Arts)
This became possibly the greatest stage success Australia has known and was adapted into a silent and a sound movie. One of the oldest plays in the Australian cannon, and still it resonates with audiences. This play’s grit, wit and gumption characterise Australia at a particular moment in its history. Set in a shingle hut, on the selection, Darling Downs, soon after federation. Just like the Australians it depicts, the play itself is an embattled story mixing farce, wry humour and realism.
In this four act play, On Our Selection by Steele Rudd follows the trials of Dad Rudd in his fight to beat drought, fire and flood alongside the perpetual struggle against the greedy but influential John Carey. One of Australia’s most loved folk plays, the classic story of the bush battler and his foray into politics will continue to live on in the hearts of Australian’s long into the future.
Dad Rudd is having a tough time on the selection.
Old man Carey is demanding money that he just doesn’t have, but Kate is heading off to Brisbane to bring home the bacon from the big city. If it wasn’t for loveable farmhand Sandy, Kate would have no trouble with leaving, after all the bush life has never been for her.
But with young Jim Carey and Sandy both vowing for her attention, someone has to come off second best. When Sandy and Jim get into a fight, someone is killed – but who is responsible? Will an innocent man be framed for a crime that he did not commit and send the Rudd family into dissent?
With the big election coming up, there’s only one man for the job to look after the blokes on the selections, but will revenge get in the way, and will money and influence prevail or will Dad’s fighting spirit win the hearts and votes of the electorate?
On Our Selection has been produced by Queensland Theatre Company (1981), Melbourne Theatre Company (1982, 1983 and 1991) and Western Australian Theatre Company (1988), and was first performed at the Palace Theatre, Sydney in 1912.