Lyric Hammersmith

King Street, Lyric Square, London, W6 0QL GB

Our Country's Good

Our Country's Good Tickets

  • Opens: Thursday, 5 September 2024
    Booking until: Saturday, 5 October 2024
  • Running time: 2hr 45min. Incl. 1 interval.
Tickets from £12.00
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Our Country's Good in London

Based on a true story about criminals rehearsing a play, this unusual drama is set in 1700s Sydney, Australia. A brand new production of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Olivier Award-winning play, the story is just as relevant today, a damning exploration of British power and so-called justice.

About Our Country’s Good

The Lyric Hammersmith is delighted to present a fresh new production of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Olivier Award-winning play, this time around directed by Rachel O’Riordan (A Doll’s House, Iphigenia in Splott) and Designed by Gary McCann.

The play is given extra impact by the fact this is a real story dating back to the 1700s in Australia’s first penal colony. This seminal 1988 drama puts the themes of deportation as punishment in a new light, worryingly relevant to the way immigrants are being treated by the UK authorities today.

British playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker adapted the play from the Thomas Keneally book The Playmaker. It stars a group of Royal Marines and convicts sent to New South Wales in the 1780s, who staged a production of The Recruiting Officer. A hit premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in autumn 1988 was directed by Max Stafford-Clark, and it eventually arrived on Broadway in 1991.

Thomas Barrett, aged 17, was sent to Australia for stealing a sheep. James Freeman, aged 25, was sent away for 14 years for assaulting a sailor. Dorothy Handland, aged 82, stole a biscuit. They were just three of the unfortunates banished 15,000 miles from home on a lethal voyage, arriving in 1788. To keep the convicts under control and ‘civilise’ them, young lieutenant Ralph Clark decides they need to put on a play.

A play with a load of awards behind it

A string of accolades precede this production. Back in 2012 it was nominated for the Manchester Theatre Award for Best Visiting Production (Original Theatre Company). 1988 saw the play winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a New Play. It won a BBC Award for the Play of the Year in the same year along with a nomination for Director of the Year.

In 1991 it was nominated for six Tony Awards and won the 1991 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play, also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play.

It has been staged at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre, directed by Caroline Hall and featuring Louise Gold as Lieutenant Will Dawes and Liz Morden. It hit the Liverpool Playhouse in 2007, and the actors – including Charlie Brooks – even ran a workshop for real life prisoners at Walton Prison.

Some of the names have been changed but most of the play’s characters are based on real people who actually sailed with the First Fleet almost 250 years ago, whose journals still survive.

Our Country's Good is a compelling play that masterfully blends drama and humour, exploring themes of redemption, humanity, and the transformative power of theatre. Performances will run at the Lyric Hammersmith for a limited season.

Our Country's Good Official Theatre Tickets

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Our Country's Good Ticket Information

  • Opens:

    Thursday, 5 September 2024

  • Booking until:

    Saturday, 5 October 2024

  • Running time:

    2hr 45min. Incl. 1 interval.

  • Age restrictions

    Ages 14+.

  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Once booked, tickets to Our Country's Good are usually non exchangeable and non refundable as per our terms & conditions. In practice, however, we will do our best to accommodate your request as long as we are notified at least 48 hours before the performance. Please contact us for more information.

Next Performances for Our Country's Good at the Lyric Hammersmith

Friday 6th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £12.00
Saturday 7th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £12.00
Monday 9th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £12.00
Tuesday 10th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £12.00
Thursday 12th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £18.00
Friday 13th Sep 2024 7:30pm from £18.00

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