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On Our Selection by Steele Rudd



THEMES: Australia, Triumph Over Adversity, Revenge, Family, Home
LENGTH: 150 Minutes
SUITABLE FOR: Senior Students

One of Australia’s most loved folk plays.


In this four act play, On Our Selection by Steele Rudd follows the trials of Dad Rudd in his fight to beat drought, fire and flood alongside the perpetual struggle against the greedy but influential John Carey. One of Australia’s most loved folk plays, the classic story of the bush battler and his foray into politics will continue to live on in the hearts of Australian’s long into the future.


Dad Rudd is having a tough time on the selection.

Old man Carey is demanding money that he just doesn’t have, but Kate is heading off to Brisbane to bring home the bacon from the big city. If it wasn’t for loveable farmhand Sandy, Kate would have no trouble with leaving, after all the bush life has never been for her.

But with young Jim Carey and Sandy both vowing for her attention, someone has to come off second best. When Sandy and Jim get into a fight, someone is killed – but who is responsible? Will an innocent man be framed for a crime that he did not commit and send the Rudd family into dissent?

With the big election coming up, there’s only one man for the job to look after the blokes on the selections, but will revenge get in the way, and will money and influence prevail or will Dad’s fighting spirit win the hearts and votes of the electorate?


One of the oldest plays in the Australian cannon, and still it resonates with audiences. This play’s grit, wit and gumption characterise Australia’s national identity.

Steele Rudd (real name Arthur Hoey Davis) came from humble beginnings, but had a surprising amount of commercial success during a time when even Australians weren’t interested in Australian work. He based On Our Selection off his experiences on the selection (farm) he grew up on. Just like the Australians it depicts, the play itself is an embattled story mixing farce, wry humour and realism. Rudd deftly conjures up snapshots that characterise Australia at a particular moment in its history, those who peopled it, and the public opinion of the time.


On Our Selection has been produced by Queensland Theatre Company (1981), Melbourne Theatre Company (1982, 1983 and 1991) and Western Australian Theatre Company (1988), and was first performed at the Palace Theatre, Sydney in 1912.

ISBN: 978 1921390 40 1


"On Our Selection is the earliest Australian play still to hold a place in the national repertoire … this new Playlab edition will contribute to further new understandings of a key narrative of Australia's past"

Richard Fotheringham

Short Print Run

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  • Playwrights receive royalties from the sale of licences.

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Performance Rights Enquiry Form

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