‘Our Country’s Good,’ is on its way to Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Looking at the first British convict colony to land in Australia, this new touring production is brought to life by the brilliant Ramps on the Moon.
Based on an extraordinary true story and set in 1787, this gripping and powerful drama ‘Our Country's Good,’ tells the extraordinary true story of a group of convicts transported to Australia as a punishment for their crimes. Survival is by no means certain in this strange, unfamiliar world, yet an officer inspires them to rehearse and perform a play – Australia’s first theatrical production. Facing opposition, supply shortages, abuse and the threat of hangings, the odds are seemingly stacked against them.
2018 marks 30 years since the premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Olivier Award-winning epic at the Royal Court.
Depicting true events, and based on Thomas Keneally’s best-selling novel ‘The Playmaker,’ ‘Our Country’s Good’ received great critical acclaim, transferring to the West End and Broadway and winning the Olivier Award for Play of the Year and the New York Drama Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. Now, Timberlake’s remarkable play is recognised as a modern classic exploring themes of crime, punishment and rehabilitation.
Directing ‘Our Country’s Good’ is Nottingham Playhouse associate director, Fiona Buffini. For her, the play seeks to find the humanity in everyone, its convicts and army officers alike. Its argument, she says, is between those that believe people don’t change and those convinced that they both can and do.
She says: “It insists on the possibility of redemption,” she says. “It’s about seeing beyond stereotypes and giving people access to all kinds of things that they’re normally denied. It’s about seeing people as human beings.”
‘Our Country’s Good’ is at The REP from May 23 to June 2.