White Australia is, in many ways, the melodramatic invasion narrative par excellence. Set on Marandana Station in the Northern Territory, at the nearby Katherine Telegraph Station, and in the opium dens and joss houses of Port Darwin’s Chinatown in the first decade of the twentieth century, it centres around the Pearse family and their attempts to save Australia from a Japanese attack and occupation of the “White Man’s” land. — Stephen Carleton
Look, we would all rather not examine the terrible things we’ve done, but unfortunately that’s not how progress works.
This collection would not be complete without this play. This work brings us nose to nose with a period in history that is uncomfortable to acknowledge. Regardless it forms a part of our national identity, and we cannot ignore that.
The legislation behind the White Australia policy was deconstructed in 1973. That’s 44 years ago. The rubber soled shoe of the person who marched that order down to the office is still trying to rot away in landfill. We like to think that the White Australia policy was an ancient thing that died with the men who wrote it up. But it didn’t. It came into place just after Federation in 1901, and stayed there in perfect health for 72 years.
We do not have the luxury of these issues being behind us. We do not get to rest.
“Bedford’s play is a racist one and needs to be read (and taught) advisedly and for what it is: a document of the popular prejudices of its time. In the light of the national anxiety surrounding boat people and federal immigration policy here in Australia a full century later, the timing for its republication seems right — a jarring reminder to us all about the extent to which the invasion anxiety would appear to be a permanent feature of the Australian character,“ Stephen Carleton and Richard Fotheringham, 2013.
White Australia; or, The Empty North was staged at the King’s Theatre, Melbourne, on Saturday 26 June 1909.
ISBN: 978 1 921390 36 4
Print-On-Demand (POD) is a service Playlab offers to help cater to customers who prefers/needs to have a physical printout of a digital script. We can also provide the hardcopies to suit a variety of situations that includes rehearsals, studies and/or libraries to have on their shelves.
Please note that:
- POD Copies are charged at a flat rate of $9.00 each in addition to the digital price of the text (Not including sale prices).
- A POD copy is a thermal fastback binding copy as depicted in the pictures below, it is not the same as a standard hardcopy script offered by Playlab.
A Photocopy Licence is required to make copies of any purchased digital play script. Should you wish to make additional copies for a cast to rehearse or a class to study, you will need to purchase the necessary licence by:
- Adding the Photocopy Licence to your shopping cart when you purchase a digital script. OR
- Downloading the ‘Photocopy Licence and POD Order Form’ below and returning it to Playlab digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to PO Box 3701 South Brisbane B.C, 4101.
Photocopy Licence and POD Order Form
- Photocopy Licences are not available for hardcopy scripts.
- Educational institutions covered by a Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licence should take note that their CAL licence only allows them to copy a maximum of one chapter or 10% of a script whether it is in digital or hardcopy format.
- A Photocopy Licence does not include the right to on-sell copies of the script printed under the licence.
- Playwrights receive royalties from the sale of licences.
Let Playlab help you obtain the performance rights for your production. Simply click on ‘Performance Rights Enquiry Form’ below and we will get you on track to having your production off the page and onto stage.
Performance Rights Enquiry Form
Any performance or public reading of any text published by Playlab is forbidden unless a licence has been received from the author or the author’s agent. The purchase of a Playlab publication in no way gives the purchaser the right to perform the play in public, whether by means of a staged production or as a reading. Please direct all inquiries concerning performance rights, publication, translation or recording rights to email@example.com or call us on (07) 3220 2763.