Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker is to be staged at Cork City Gaol on September 28th & 29th. Studio 13 Productions are producing the play which is the first in the Gaol's history.
On the 18th of January, 1788 the first fleet of British prison ships, under the command of Arthur Phillip, arrive at Botany Bay in New South Wales, Australia and soon settle up the coast at Port Jackson, the site of current-day Sydney.
Many of the prisoners have been convicted of minor theft (stealing a loaf of bread was crime enough to earn deportation) and many of their wardens are military men who fought and lost the war against the American colonies. There is a sense that they have all of them been condemned: to the task of founding a self-sustaining colony in a land where farming is difficult, disease is rampant, the laborers unwilling and the aboriginal population often hostile.
At a time of extremely low supplies and low hopes, with the future of the colony in question, 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark decides to stage a production of George Farquhar's comedy "The Recruiting Officer" using convicts, many of them illiterate, as his cast. His intention is not only to raise morale but also make a favorable impression upon his superiors and secure a promotion. The project immediately takes on political dimensions and meets with opposition among the other officers. As his opening night nears Clark struggles to ready the play amidst a storm of questions about the possibility of redemption and the transforming powers of theatre.
Click here to PreBook Tickets