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Publisher's Summary

A BBC Radio double bill of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s award-winning drama about a group of 18th-century Australian convicts and their attempts to stage a play, plus the Restoration comedy that the prisoners put on.

Australia, 1789: A young lieutenant attempts to direct a cast of convicts in the first play ever to be staged in the country. 

But one of his actors is about to be hanged....

Adapted from Thomas Keneally’s novel The Playmaker, Our Country’s Good tells the true story of the convicts and marines sent to Australia as part of the first penal colony. An eloquent argument for the redemptive power of theatre, Wertenbaker’s classic drama celebrates the beauty of language – in the slang of the criminal classes and the poetry of the play – and at the same time examines how it is used as an instrument of power.

In The Recruiting Officer, we hear the play that the prisoners staged. George Farquhar’s popular Restoration comedy is set in Shrewsbury during the War of the Spanish Succession, where wives are recruited while soldiers are wooed. During a lull in the fighting, the womanising Captain Plume comes to town to seduce soldiers into the army, and – if possible – recruit Silvia into marriage.

These two captivating radio dramas star many of the same cast, including Paul Higgins, Ralph Ineson, Kate Fleetwood, Jonathan Forbes and Adjoa Andoh.

Our Country’s Good

Captain Arthur Philip – Nicholas Le Prevost

Major Robbie Ross – Stuart McQuarrie

Captain David Collins – Paul Moriarty

Captain Watkin Tench – Adam Billington

Captain Campbell – James Lailey

2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark – Paul Higgins

Reverend Johnson – Simon Bubb

Midshipman Harry Brewer – Rikki Lawton

Mary Brenham – Francine Chamberlain

Robert Sideway – Adam James

John Wisehammer – Elliot Levey

Liz Morden – Kate Fleetwood

Dabby Bryant – Alex Tregear

John Arscott – Ralph Ineson

Ketch Freeman – Jonathan Forbes

Duckling Smith – Adjoa Andoh

Produced and directed by Sally Avens

Our Country’s Good © Timberlake Wertenbaker, 1988, 1989, 1999, 2015

Based on the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally © 1978 The Serpentine Publishing Company Pty, published by Hodder & Stoughton and Sceptre

Timberlake Wertenbaker has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work
All rights reserved

The Recruiting Officer

Captain Plume – Paul Higgins

Silvia – Lisa Dillon

Sergeant Kite – Ralph Ineson

Mr Worthy – Adam James

Melinda – Kate Fleetwood

Captain Brazen – Elliot Levey

Rose – Alex Tregear

Bullock – Simon Bubb

Justice Balance – Jonathan Forbes

Lucy – Adjoa Andoh

Appletree – James Lailey

Pearman – Adam Billington

Bridewell– Rikki Lawton

Justice Scale – Paul Moriaty

Justice Scruple – Gerard McDermott

Produced and directed by Jessica Dromgoole

The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar originally published in 1706

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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