Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler
28 April – 12 May
Our Story is set in 1953 in the 17th year of an annual pilgrimage where, at the end of each ‘Lay off’ season 2 cane cutters Roo (Michael Byrne) and Barney (James Chapman) travel to Melbourne to meet up with 2 city girls Olive & Nancy, spending their summers together in an almost perfect arrangement.
From the beginning we realize that this year will be different, Nancy, Barney’s girl has left the group and married. In an air of desperation to keep the tradition and the magic going Olive (Danielle Asquith) convinces her barmaid friend Pearl (Emma Wood), to take Nancy’s place in the group.
Bubba (Samantha Lambert) the girl next door has grown up with the four and like Olive waits every year for the boys to arrive and the fun to begin. Olive’s mum Emma (Janet Gillam), has witnessed the antics of the past 16 years and Dowd (Jarrod Sansom), younger, fitter and the new generation of cane cutters make up the other characters.
The Summer of the 17th Doll was written by Ray Lawler, it is an iconic Australian play that placed this country on the world stage theatrically. The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is regularly performed in theatres throughout Australia and the rest of the world, it serves as a reminder that we all get older and how inevitably times – and we change.