Our Country’s Good @ National Theatre – Reviews

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‘’Our Country’s Good’ is a great laugh out loud experience with brilliant breaking the 4th wall moments. However it does have a serious side as it examines the lives of the first convicts and their jailers as they strive to make the most of Australia in the 1700’s. A must see experience, would fully recommend it to anyone.’
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‘The play is an absorbing tale of conflict, power and humility that uses intelligent wordplay and ethereal folk song to elevate and punctuate the scenes. The tale is one of hardship and triumph, interspersed with tender comical moments that tell the personal journeys of the first British settlers on Australian shores. An elusive and inquisitive Aboriginal figure watches over the unfolding drama that sees Majors, lieutenants and convicts clash amongst themselves and with each other as they attempt to create order out of the chaos; the battle line is drawn up between those who believe in the arts as salvation, against those who do not.’ Sarah Scarsbrook

`The Aboriginal narrator balanced with the female folk singer gave a clever balance between the lives of all involved in the new settlement. This play was a true representation of the written play and the characters were played with substance. A very good, entertaining and thought provoking watch.’
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‘As seems to be universal throughout the National’s current offering, the staging of the play is fantastic. The ensemble cast is strong but particular praise must go to Paul Kaye for his powerful performance. Well worth watching.’
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‘Although the play revisits a painful, harrowing part of British history ‘Our Country’s Good’ refuses to be entirely dark. Expect to be transported in technicolour to a dreamtime world of untamed Australia and expect to be made to giggle as often as you are made to flinch.
Jenny Draxlbauer

‘Inspired by Thomas Keneally’s novel ‘The Playmaker’, ‘Our Country’s Good’ at the National Theatre transports us back to the arrival at Sydney Cove of a convict ship, overflowing with English outcasts. Set against intense, painterly skies and interspersed with the music of Cerys Matthews, it is both a humorous and haunting play about the importance of theatre.’
Naomi Crede

‘A touching tale that valorizes the freeing role of art from all the differences and hierarchies. Overall a great cast with a suggestive stage design and music.’
Viola Bruni

‘The team at the National have triumphed again with a thoughtful and compelling piece of theatre charting the loves, lies and larceny of a group of convicts sent from England to Australia for ‘Our Country’s Good’. The set shone as it became a storm tossed ship, the Australian outback (with a vivid colour scheme that easily evoked the reddish stone native to that land) and a jailers cell. At times shocking, this piece was above all a commentary on the nature of forgiveness and redemption – and is an ultimately moving piece.’
Olivia Holland – Rose

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