Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
by Ray Lawler
Plays and playwrights go in and out of fashion but some endure and speak to each subsequent generation. Lawler’s much loved tale of Queensland cane cutters and Melbourne barmaids has endured, not through nostalgia, nor because it spawned a new age in Australian writing, but because the characters and their dilemmas are so true, so beautifully observed, so humorous and so poignant.
A triumph at its 1955 Melbourne premiere, followed by a national tour and hugely successful season in London’s West End where it won an award for best new play, this 2020 production of the Australian classic Summer of the Seventeenth Doll celebrates the 65th Anniversary of this iconic play.
For sixteen years two Queensland cane cutters have worked the punishing routine up north in the sugar cane fields for seven months of the year and travelled back to Melbourne to meet up for five months of partying and romance with their barmaid girlfriends. This seventeenth summer everything is different. One of the barmaids has ‘settled down’ and married a city bloke so a replacement date has had to be found. This ‘off-season’ proves challenging for them all.
Part of HIT Production’s Australian Voice Tours for 2020, this production will be directed by the award-winning, Denny Lawrence, whose history with HIT Productions includes many successful productions including Shirley Valentine, Always…Patsy Cline, Educating Rita, Glorious!, Hotel Sorrento and most recently, My Brilliant Divorce. Denny will be supported by a highly-experienced creative team.