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New Wolsey Theatre
The play tells the true story of convicts transported to Australia who, in 1789, put on a production of The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar. Our Country’s Good is a play about class, injustice, poverty, identity, freedom, language. And how imagination itself can save and transform you, even in the darkest of hours.
Ramps on the Moon is a company which integrates D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled performers seem to reimagine and re-invigorate every production they do. Last year’s Tommy was one of the best shows I’ve seen. I wrote at the time that it finally made sense of the Who’s Rock Opera for me and it was definitely worth the wait – since I bought the album in the 80s!
For a play that has at its centre the power of language and performance, the act of signing, captioning, and characters having other performers speak the lines adds a dimension which is completely compelling. That theatre and the performing itself is presented as transformative in the context of the show, this layer undoubtedly adds a dimension of inclusivity and ownership of the stage itself.
Our Country’s Good is earthy and shows the human spirit in all its filth and glory. Sex is a commodity for the women of the play, a means for survival. Fifi Garland as Dabby Bryant is energetic , powerful and totally embodies the character’s yearning, emotions and indomitable spirit. As Liz Morden, Gbemisola Ikumelo is a powerhouse of dignity and rage. Her performance of Lizzy’s monologue of slang is a highlight.
Neil Murray’s stage design creates a stage on a stage . All the action fittingly happens here in this play within a play. The cast, as an ensemble, work seamlessly together throughout to create the atmosphere within this play that leaves you feeling as enraged and desperate as the convicts themselves and eager for them to triumph.