Our country’s good is a play about convicts and royal marines send to Australia in the late 1780’s as part of the first penal colony there. The play sees Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark’s attempt to put on a production of ‘The Recruiting officer’ with the convicts. The play shows the class system and shows themes such as sexuality, social class and punishment. 2. When was our country’s good written?
3. When did Weternbaker write this play?
4. What did she want to achieve by putting it on?
Weternbaker wanted to show how bad the conditions were 1780s when convicts were sent to Australia, she wanted to show awareness of thing such as the social class, punishment, crime, death and poverty. Her aim was also to show convicts in a different light, how they reformed and showing what really happened behind closed doors 5. What was happening socially?
6. What style did she write this play in?
The play has elements of being Brechtian, Bretch would place social and political issues on stage making sure the issue was more important than the characters and in Our country’s good that is the case. There is multi-rolling and simple sets which also indicate a Brechtian style.
7. Who is Max Stafford Clarke and what is his influence on this play? Max Stafford Clarke is a famous English theatre director/practioner; he directed the first production of Our country’s good.
8. Who did Weternbaker write this play for?
The public, so that they could see what she was trying to achieve, and for them to get some insight on what was actually happening
9. What does Weternbaker herself say about the setting of the play?
10. Is this a political play?
Yes because it shows the political issues at the time, when convicts where getting sent over to Australia, and it shows the Georgian judicial system.
11. Do you think the play has relevance for an audience today, why? Yes because it makes you reflect on today’s social and political system, in today’s world we still have convicts who are seen as terrible people so it makes you think about them, and it shows that we still have an unfair social class system.
12. List the themes of the play
13. What is the historical context of this play?
1. State in one sentence what you think the meaning is of this play Don’t assume the worst in people
2. Which theme/message do you want to highlight in your production? Social class
Because social class always divides people and I think it’s important not to let social class define a person Section 3
Theme| Act/scene| Quote| Notes|
Social class| | | |
| | | |
Crime| Act 2 scene 1| ‘It doesn’t matter what you say, if they say you’re a thief, you’re a thief’| Because of the social class it didn’t matter if they were innocent or not| | | | |
Death| Act 2 scene 3| ‘Death is horrible Brewer, its dark, there’s nothing’| Harry is seeing death, speaking to Thomas Barret a boy who he hung | | | | |
Friendship| Act 2 scene 11| ‘Think of us as your family’| Mary says this to the convicts before the play, showing how close they became| | | | |
Punishment | Act 1scene 3| ‘It is my belief the hangings should take place tomorrow. The quick execution of justice for the good of the colony’| | | | | |
1. When was epic theatre first developed?
Epic theatre first started rising in the early to mid-20th century
2. Who developed it?
There were a few practioners who used Epic theatre but most famously Brecht
3. What influenced him?
Brecht’s earliest work was influenced by German expressionism but his fascination with Marxism and the idea that society could be analysed led him to develop his theory of Epic theatre
4. What is its main aim as a style of theatre?
Brecht wanted his plays to leave the audience reflecting on...