Cherry Acres by Dorothy Tobin
The enormous cost of hiring His Majesty’s in 1931 for In Beauty It Is Finished left the Society so financially burdened that it was unable to afford another £50 prize for its National Playwright Competition.
So it compromised with an announcement of a Royalty payment of 10 guineas for a suitable new work for its 1932 season. The winning play was Cherry Acres by Dorothy Tobin directed by George Eaton. Typical of the media coverage for this poorly conceived play, The Telegraph devoted an editorial to “The Choice of Repertory Plays” declaring the play to be: “… as far removed from repertory standards as is an Edgar Wallace novel from the classics” (September 10,1932). Admitting it was not up to standard, Stable justified it as the only play from those submitted that was suitable for production – which was “not to be wondered at when one considers the limited opportunities given to the average Australian to study the production side of the theatre” (The Telegraph, September 14, 1932).
By 1934, Brisbane Repertory had abandoned the idea of resurrecting its national competition and instead supported the Queensland Eisteddfod by offering a prize and judging the best plays submitted by Australian playwrights.
Writer: Christine Comans