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Man from Mukinupin


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A: Dorothy Hewett Pf: 1979, Perth, Australia Pb: 1980 G: Musical drama in 2 acts S: Mukinupin, Western Australia, 1912–20 C: 7m, 7f (includes doubling)In the town of Mukinupin, members of the community have Doppelgänger (performed by the same actors), who emerge at night as dangerous and evil counterparts to the seemingly respectable citizens. It is at night that the god-fearing lay preacher Eek Perkins, urged on by the Mukinupin wives, leads the massacre of a tribe of Aborigines in the creek-bed. The young Jack Tuesday leaves with his brother Harry to fight in the Great War, imagining that Polly Perkins, the storekeeper's daughter, has refused to marry him. When he returns from the war older and wiser, he successfully woos her, saving her from marriage to an elderly travelling salesman Cecil Brunner. When Jack marries Polly, their wedding is paralleled by a pagan marriage between Harry, now an alcoholic, and Polly's half-sister, an aboriginal girl called Touch of the Tar. The manager of a visiting theatre company performing a dreadful production of Othello is impressed with Jack's theatrical talent, and he and Polly leave to join a musical comedy troupe.

A: Dorothy Hewett Pf: 1979, Perth, Australia Pb: 1980 G: Musical drama in 2 acts S: Mukinupin, Western Australia, 1912–20 C: 7m, 7f (includes doubling)

This is one of the most performed Australian plays, offering a rich theatrical experience with song, dance, humour, and powerful incident. Hewett's concerns with the environment and with the substratum of Australian society with its history of violent suppression of the native culture of the Aborigines, have clearly found resonance with contemporary Australian audiences.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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Dorothy Hewett (1923—2002)


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