Author(s): Ray Lawler
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 premi re 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.
Ray Lawler was thrust into prominence when his play Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, in which he appeared in the role of Barney, became a hit for the Union Theatre Repertory Company in 1955, and subsequently toured with enormous success throughout Australia and to London. The Piccadilly Bushman, written in 1959, toured nationally under the J.C. Williamson banner. Lawler's other plays include Kid Stakes and Other Times (completing The Doll Trilogy in 1975), The Man Who Shot the Albatross (1971) and Godsend (1982). Having lived abroad from 1957, Lawler returned in 1975 to serve as Literary Adviser to Melbourne Theatre Company and direct a number of productions for that company. Nowadays he lives in a bayside Melbourne suburb.