Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

By Ray Lawler

  • Release Date: 2012-10-01
  • Genre: Theatre
Score: 4
From 11 Ratings
Download Now
The file download will begin after you complete the registration. Downloader's Terms of Service | DMCA


Every summer Roo and Barney have come down from their work in the Queensland canefields to the Carlton house they share with Olive and Nancy for an annual celebration of love and laughter. But this year Nancy has deserted the house to get married, and Pearl has taken her place… Ray Lawler’s brawny canecutters, and their long-standing seasonal romance with two Melbourne barmaids, are now part of Australian legend. Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is one of the pillars of our national theatre; with its première in 1955, it is said Australian playwriting came of age. In this new edition it’s clear The Doll still speaks to us today. Coming through in print and on stage as what it has been always—one of our works of literature most closely identified with the Australian character.


  • A story for its time

    By TheDonIII
    I've just finished reading the play, so the impression it has left with me will still be a rather shallow one, rather than one based on reflection and deeper insight. However, it strikes me as being dated and the central concerns of the play being so reflective of the era the play was set in and written in that the plot is almost nonsensical. There are a number of examples of this happening, starting with the whole idea of the 'layoff', the time when the two main characters, Barney and Roo, leave their work on the cane fields in Queensland to spend time in Melbourne with their lovers. This would not be frowned upon in modern society and hence it is hard for the impact of this idea to resonate as harshly as it should. Likewise, the climax of the play relates to Roos decision to try and change the circumstances of his life offering his lover Olive his hand in marriage. this is supposed to be a major point of crisis given that it flies in the face of how they have lived and the lifestyle that up until this summer has brought them great joy, but the moment does not have the drama it clearly is intended to convey. The dialect is hard to follow in places given the use of contractions to represent 'aussie' speech and due to the use of working class colloquialisms. Overall, a play for its time, not a classic