Adapting Australian Novels for the Stage : La Boite Theatre’s Version of Last Drinks, Perfect Skin, and Johnno

In the latest expression of its mandate to stage a broadly-defined Queensland, the Brisbane-based La Boite Theatre has turned to adapting local works. This is not new for the theatre - Rosamond Siemon's The Mayne Inheritance was adapted by Errol O'Neill for the 2004 season, and several Nick Earls novels have been dramatised - but 2006 marks the first time that adaptations have dominated a season, with three of five plays based on novels of the same name. These vary significantly: David Malouf's 1975 Johnno, a classic of growing up in war-time Brisbane; Andrew McGahan's Last Drinks (2000), a recollection of the pre- Fitzgerald Inquiry era; and Perfect Skin (2000), another of Earls's comic novels. Given this trend, it is productive to explore the process of adapting a narrative from one genre to suit a second, or to illustrate 'telling the same story in many different ways' (Hutcheon, 'On the Art' 109).

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Published 1 October 2008 in Volume 23 No. 3. Subjects: Australian theatre, Literary adaptations.

Cite as: Tompkins, Joanne. ‘Adapting Australian Novels for the Stage : La Boite Theatre’s Version of Last Drinks, Perfect Skin, and Johnno.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, 2008. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.a05e9b9578.