An edgy production that turns the microscope on Australia’s wild colonial days and the rape culture of rural towns will be staged at the Tallangatta Memorial Hall on Friday and Saturday night.
The Wild Colonial Boys is an original play written by Mandy Goff, an English teacher at Tallangatta Secondary College, with a cast of enthusiastic and highly talented amateurs from the high school and local community.
Ms Goff describes the play as a “brave act” that challenges colonialism and the underlying sexist rape culture pervading Australia’s small rural towns.
“The play unearths aspects of our local indigenous history, and the story of Neddy Wheeler and his family, through the modern lens of a local dairy farming family struggling with life on the land,” she said.
“It essentially follows the changing lives and attitudes of this family coming to terms with the past while reflecting on the wider historical context of the indigenous people of the area at the time of colonisation.”
The cast and crew, who range in ages from their teens to mid-sixties, have spent the week in intense rehearsals ahead of this first ambitious production from the Tallangatta Community Theatre group.
Ms Goff said there was incredible emerging talent involved in the play, which she spent the summer writing.
“Towong Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year Jai Butler has inspired others with his passion for drama,” she said.
“We have wonderful experience in local Gina Wayman who has helped with coaching the kids.
“And we have an enthusiastic sound and light crew that includes Year 9 student Jack Fenz-Mace, who has been amazing.”
Ms Goff said it was great to put the “proud, but underused” Tallangatta Memorial Hall to work once more.
She said the content was challenging for relatively inexperienced actors but those involved were very keen to explore the controversial issues raised in the play’s writing.
“The play was written in conjunction with the group – it’s an anti-colonial eco-feminist piece,” she said.
“The group has learnt a lot and this is history that’s accessible to everyone.”
Tony Lock, who plays the dad, said given it was the theatre group’s first performance, “we might not be as slick as some but this will be made up for by Mandys writing and the enthusiasm of the company”.
The show starts at 7pm both nights and tickets are $10 at the door.
- Please note that the show contains frequent course language, mature themes as well as sexual and drug references so is intended for a mature audience only.