Observed by a lone, mystified Aboriginal Australian, the first convict ship arrives in Botany Bay, 1788, crammed with England’s outcasts. Colony discipline in this vast and alien land is brutal. Three proposed public hangings incite an argument: how best to keep the criminals in line, the noose or a more civilised form of entertainment? The ambitious Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark steps forward with a play. But as the mostly illiterate cast rehearses, and a sense of common purpose begins to take hold, the young officer’s own transformation is as marked and poignant as that of his prisoners. A profoundly humane piece of theatre, steeped in suffering yet charged with hope, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good (based on a true story) celebrates the redemptive power of art.
The Olivier − named after Laurence Olivier, the first director of the National Theatre (during its years at the Old Vic) and the outstanding British actor of the 20th century − is the largest of the three theatres at the National. In spite of its size, the Olivier has a concentrated intimacy. No seat is far from an actor's point of command; and the span of the seats matches their effective span of vision.
"A remarkable celebration of theatre’s potential to regenerate lost souls." – Evening Standard
"An exemplary ensemble. Epic." – The Stage
Recommended for ages 5 and up. Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes including an interval. Contains strong language, violence and scenes of an adult nature. If booking multiple tickets please make sure to book from one YPlan account if you want to be seated together. You will be allocated the best available seats in the selected seating area. Please note that RV stands for Restricted View. These tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded (unless of course the performance is cancelled).
The Olivier, National Theatre, Southbank
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