Extraordinary true story of the first convict ships arriving in Australia.
We are thrilled to be working with the incredible Ramps on the Moon and Nottingham Playhouse to bring you Timberlake Wertenbaker's epic play Our Country's Good (based on The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally).
2018 marks 30 years since the premiere of Our Country's Good at the Royal Court, now recognised as a modern classic exploring themes of crime, punishment and rehabilitation.
Set in 1787, Our Country's Good tells the extraordinary true story of a group of convicts transported to Australia as a punishment for their crimes. Survival is by no means certain in this strange, unfamiliar world, yet an officer inspires them to rehearse and perform a play. Facing opposition, supply shortages, abuse and the threat of hangings, the odds are seemingly stacked against them.
Featuring creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s modern classic will open at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 25 April and runs until 5 May. Book early for the best prices!
Our Country’s Good is a touring production made in co‑production with the brilliant Ramps on the Moon and Nottingham Playhouse, whose previous collaborations over the last two years include the comedy hit The Government Inspector and a critically acclaimed version of The Who’s Tommy. The production features the creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation.
Age guidance: 14+ (due to strong language)
Concessions: Available at many performances for children and under 26. If you can’t attend a show without the support of a companion or carer, you can get a companion ticket free of charge – click here for details.
Post show talk: Tue 1 May (free to same day ticket holders).
Newham Discount Night: There are a limited number of £5 tickets for the performances on Wednesday 25 - Saturday 28 April at 7.30pm. These are available for first time visitors who live or work in Newham (proof of address required) and there's a maximum of 2 per person. Only available to book in person or over the phone.
Relaxed performance: Thu 3 May at 1pm (click here to read about relaxed performances)
Our ticket prices increase as the theatre fills. We always recommend booking early to secure the best seats at the best price.
Click to watch the BSL flyer
Or click here to listen to the Audio flyer.
Ramps on the Moon productions are kindly supported by Telford Homes.
Writer Timberlake Wertenbaker
Director Fiona Buffini
Designer Neil Murray
Lighting Designer Mark Jonathan
Composer/Sound Designer Jon Nicholls
Associate Director Simon Startin
COLIN CONNOR – Robbie Ross
Colin trained at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre.
Theatre credits include: Waiting for Godot (Tobacco Factory Theatres/The Dukes/Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); The Father (Oldham Coliseum Theatre/Harrogate Theatre); The Winter’s Tale; To Kill a Mockingbird; A View from the Bridge; Can’t Pay Won’t Pay; Tull; Of Mice and Men; Macbeth; Habeus Corpus; The Demolition Man; Romeo and Juliet; Love on the Dole; A Streetcar Named Desire; Comedians (Octagon Theatre, Bolton); Twopence To Cross The Mersey (Liverpool Empire); The Cruel Sea (Liverpool Everyman); Whistle In The Dark (Royal Exchange/Tricycle Theatre); Steptoe and Son (Octagon Studio); The Towers Of Babel (24:7).
Television credits include: The Job Lot; Scott and Bailey; Emmerdale; Coronation Street; The Royal (ITV); Doctors; Moving On; Peaky Blinders; Prisoners’ Wives (BBC); Hollyoaks (Channel 4); See No Evil (Granada).
Film credits include: Dementamania (Ronin Productions); A Girl at Death’s Door (Short Film).
Colin won two Manchester Theatre Awards in 2016: Best Actor (Eddie Carbone – A View from the Bridge) and Best Fringe Performance for the title role in Mr Smith.
TOM DAWZE – John Wisehammer
Tom trained at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
Theatre credits include: Roots; The Marked (Theatre Témoin); Adventure To Oz; The Twelve Days Of Christmas (ChickenShed); The Remarkable Tale Of Oliver Twist (Red Earth Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Vertical Line Theatre); Soft Beats the Heart; Take Angel Home (Theatre503); Ages (Old Vic New Voices); Hamlet (Primary Shakespeare Company); Romeo and Juliet (Young Shakespeare Company); More Important Things; Free (Half Moon Theatre); The Frog Prince (Skewbald Theatre); All Together Now (The North Wall Arts Centre); Burning Gardens (Goat and Monkey); Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Television credits include: EastEnders (BBC); Capital One (Channel 4); Macmillan (Channel 5).
JARRAD ELLIS-THOMAS – Captain Campbell
Jarrad trained at Guildford School of Acting
Theatre credits include: Our Country’s Good; Buckets; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Journey’s End; Pericles; All My Sons; Ghosts (Guildford School of Acting).
Television credits include: Father Brown (BBC).
Film credits include: Petroleum Spirit (Mirror Productions); Made in Wales: First Sign of Love (BBC).
FIFI GARFIELD – Dabby Bryant
Theatre credits include: Contractions; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Deafinitely Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company); Emma (London Bubble Theatre Company/UK Tour).
Television credits include: Deaf Funny (Juggle Productions); Don’t Leave Me This Way; Switch (BBC).
Radio credits include: All Fingers and Thumbs (BBC Radio 4).
Fifi made her acting debut with London Deaf Drama Group aged 19 and has been performing ever since. She has appeared in over twenty productions on stage and screen and has worked with, among others, Bill Nighy, Jenny Éclair and Joe Absolom. Fifi has appeared in commercials for BT and as a studio dancer for Smirnoff. She has also been a presenter for See Hear on the BBC and Women of the World.
In addition to her acting career, Fifi works freelance within creative media, translating from English to BSL, directing, filming and editing.
KEIREN HAMILTON-AMOS – Caesar
Keiren trained at the Birmingham School of Acting.
Theatre credits include: Freeman; Green Leaves Fall (Belgrade Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Solids and Liquids (Crescent Theatre); Joseph K (Old Joint Stock Theatre); Hugless Douglas (National Tour).
Television credits include: Break Up of the Bands (ITV Studio America).
Film credits include: Consequences (Strictly Arts Theatre).
Keiren has recently started his playwriting career with a sold-out performance of Zulu Blue at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
GBEMISOLA IKUMELO – Liz Morden
Theatre credits include: Oliver Twist (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The New Nigerians (Arcola Theatre); The Night Watch (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse); Hopelessly Devoted (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/Paines Plough/Tricycle Theatre); The Coloured Museum (Talawa Theatre); Death and the Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Duck (Unicorn); The Next Big Thing (Tell Tara); God is a DJ (Theatre Centre); Rent (English Theatre, Frankfurt); The Bat (New Vic, Newcastle); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Missing (Theatre Centre/National Tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Byre Theatre/National Tour); Godspell (Gateway Theatre).
Television credits include: Famalam; SunnyD; One Night; Holby City; Black Britain (BBC); Broadchurch (ITV); What’s Your News (Nickelodeon).
Film credits include: Good Night (Blind Eye Films); Cocktail (Illuminati Films).
Radio Credits Include: The Ferryhill Philosophers (Catherine Bailey Ltd); Clare in the Community (BBC); Lysisstrata (Angel Eye Media); The Interview (BBC Radio 3); Binti’s Party; Jero (BBC World Service); No.1 Ladies Detective Agency; Sensationomics; Troiluss and Cressida; Ambridge Extra (BBC Radio 4); Doctor Who Audio Plays (Big Finish Productions).
KIERON JECCHINIS – Arthur Philip
Theatre credits include: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company); A Midsummer Night's Dream; All's Well That Ends Well (Stratford Festival, Canada); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; To Kill a Mockingbird (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Awake and Sing (Almeida Theatre); The Odd Couple (Liverpool Playhouse); The Iron Man; The Evidence (New Perspectives); Get Carter (Red Shift Theatre Company); Dial M for Murder; Who's Life is it Anyway; Strangers on a Train; (Frinton Summer Theatre); Bingo (Young Vic/ Chichester Festival Theatre); The Front Page (Chichester Festival Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Nottingham Playhouse); And Nothing but the Truth (V-TOL); 900 Oneonta (The Old Vic); Woyzek; (Omnibus Theatre, Clapham).
Television credits include: EastEnders; Doctors; Out of the Blue; Gracie! (BBC); Poirot; The Bill (ITV); Hollyoaks (Channel 4); In Suspicious Circumstances (Granada Television); Brass Eye (TalkBack Productions); Space Precinct (Grove Television Enterprises).
Film credits include: Full Metal Jacket;Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros); Bonhoeffer (First Run Features); Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount Pictures); Coriolanus (Hermetof Pictures); BEAT (Background Productions); Papillon (Czech Anglo Productions).
Radio credits include: The Putney Debates; The Corrupted; Luther (BBC Radio 4).
SAPPHIRE JOY – Mary Brenham
Sapphire trained at Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre credits include: Imogen (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Asphalt Kiss (StoneCrabs/New Diorama); More Important Things (Half Moon Theatre); The Day the Waters Came (Theatre Centre); Krunch (Talawa/UK and South African Tour); Malachi (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Gifted (Okai Collier Company/White Bear); Just Me, Bell (Graeae).
Television credits include: Casualty; Crimewatch (BBC); Seconds From Disaster: Jonestown Cult Suicide (National Geographic).
WILL LEWIS – John Arscott
Will trained at the Actors Centre and Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre credits include: An Ideal Husband (KDC Theatre); Silent Royal; Don’t Look Back in Anger (Deafinitely Theatre); Red and Yellow (Handprint Theatre); Sick (Graeae); Brain (Filmpro).
Film credits include: Daddy Dearest (Artemis Christodoulou); Patient 35 (Eduard Vijulie), Happy Birthday (Jules Rampton); Dead Man’s Shoes (Jamie Hillier).
Will has co-narrated The Iron Man for the BBC and has appeared in music videos for 1,2,1,2 (Island records) and Break Your Phone (Bullion Productions). He has also featured in commercials for Smirnoff’s We’re Open campaign (Bold Company) and The Big Issue’s Change Please campaign (Nice Shirts Films). Will has worked for Handprint Theatre several times, performing in a short children's educational show and facilitating workshops which Handprint create and provide themselves. He was also part of Handprint’s team when they did stage scene workshops for Mousetrap Productions.
Our Country’s Good is Will’s first touring theatre production.
MILTON LOPES – An Aboriginal Australian
Theatre credits include: The Threepenny Opera (Graeae/New Wolsey Theatre/Nottingham Playhouse/Birmingham Repertory Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Tempest (Taking Flight); Titus Andronicus (The Theory of Everything); Exhibit B (Third World Bunfight/Barbican Centre); Early Days of a Better Nation (Coney); No One Is An Island (Tangle); Calling Tree (Artsadmin;) Paralympic Opening Ceremony (LOCOG); The Garden (Graeae).
Television credits include: Celebrity Bedlam (Objective Productions); A Unica Mulher (Plural Entertainment); Regresso a Sizalinda (Antonia Seabra Producoes).
Film credits include: Bonobo (Fable Films); Twist of Fate (Clap Filmes); Le Dauphin (Madragoa); Is Just Sex (Crimson Black).
Radio Credits include: Brave New World; The Lost World ( BBC Radio 4).
Milton is currently developing Elephant, a show involving circus, theatre and live music with deaf and disabled multidisciplinary performers which incorporates sign language and audio description that, subject to funding, will tour in 2019.
ALEX NOWAK – Robert Sideway
Theatre credits include: Tribes (Gate Theatre, Dublin/National Tour of Scotland); Real Human Being (National Tour of Wales); That Catholic Thing (Camden People's Theatre, London); Doing Words With Things (London Word Festival); Wizard of Deaf Oz (Rudolf Steiner House, London).
Film credits include: Mirrors (Shivers Above Madness Ltd); Loves Defiling Moment (Surreality Films Muted); Nonsense (Independent film); Foreign (Spiralhouse Pictures); Falling For Vilma; The Silent Killer (Beg Borrow Steal Productions); Knight Knight (Hermit Film Production); Summer Camp - Losing My Mind (music video); Late Night (Independent Film); The Beach House (University of the Creative Arts Farnham); The End (Film4/nominated for Best Actor at Deaffest Gala Awards 2013 for his role as Luke); English (T-squared Films).
Alex has completed a variety of commercial pieces for National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and National Deaf Children's Society in the UK. He was the Young Deaffest Ambassador for Deaffest Film Festival between 2012 and 2014. He has appeared on Channel 4 as a continuity announcer. In 2014, Alex founded the Matara Deaf Film and Arts Festival in southern Sri Lanka.
CAROLINE PARKER – Meg Long
Recent credits include: Fittings Multimedia Arts – Vogue: The Unlimited House of Krip (Vogue Ball 2017, Liverpool); The Tin Soldier (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh) Miranda and Caliban: The Making of a Monster (Birds of Paradise Theatre Company/Hong Kong/Glasgow).
Television credits include: Doctors; Murphy's Law; Switch (BBC); Stuart a Life Backwards (BBC/HBO).
In the cabaret circuit, Caroline performs in her unique style of signed songs. She recently gave a TEDx talk entitled Singing Without Her Voice. At the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony she signed the closing number 'I am What I Am' alongside Beverly Knight.
Caroline also does the stand-up comedy circuit and is a member of Abnormally Funny People. In 2015 Caroline won three Best Actress awards for her role Mabel Morgan in the BSLBT Zone film If I Don't Lose, I'll Lose at the Cenedeaf III Rome Film Festival, Clin d'Oeil and Cannes Disability Film Festival 2016.
TIM PRITCHETT – Second Lieutenant Ralph Clarke
Tim trained at RADA.
Theatre credits include: Short and Stark (Southwark Playhouse); Cat in Sieve (Theatre503); Hospital at the time of the Revolution; A New Play for the General Election (Finborough Theatre); Being The Actor (Royal Festival Hall); Manchester (Soho Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing; The Canterbury Tales (Royal Court); The Exeter Blitz Project (The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter); Cuddle; In the Blood; Great Expectations (Arcola Theatre); The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery (Hoxton Hall); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Earl’s Court); Dead Dog at Dry Cleaners (Pleasance Theatre); Our Town Story (Exeter Northcott Theatre/Millennium Dome).
Television credits include: Black Mirror (Netflix); Howards End; Doctors (BBC) The Vessel (Fyrian Films).
Film credits include: Wonder Woman (Warner Bros); Time is Forever (NFTS); Jenny and Vinny Uncut (JEU Productions); The Sanctuary of Collell (Driver Productions); Gospel of Thomas (Polygram); Goddard and Others (New Troy Productions).
FERGUS RATTIGAN – James ‘Ketch’ Freeman
Fergus trained at Trinity College Dublin in Drama and Theatre, Exeter University in Shakespearian Theatre. He is an Irish actor, living in London.
Theatre credits include: Merry Wives of Windsor; All’s Well that Ends Well; The Winter’s Tale; Twelfth Night (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival). He has performed in several productions of the pantomime Snow White as one of the Seven Dwarfs including in Richmond Theatre (2014), Stockport Plaza (2015), Shaw Theatre (2016) and Middlesbrough Theatre (2017).
Television credits include: Game of Thrones (HBO); The Tudors (Showtime); Callins’ Kicks (RTE); Camelot (Starz); Fair City (RTE).
Film credits include: Mary Poppins Returns (Disney); Holmes and Watson (Columbia Pictures); The Jungle Book (Warner Brothers); Assassin’s Creed (New Regency Pictures); Killing Lionel (Sunsetrider Productions.); Deadly Presents (Bloody Cuts); Your Highness (Stuber Productions).
GARRY ROBSON – Harry Brewer
Garry has directed over 40 professional productions both here and abroad, receiving several awards including a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and a Herald Angel.
He recently directed a Hip Hop Theatre Installation for Café Missing, a show in Siberia for KultProject Moscow at the Skomorokh Puppet Theatre, a re-imagining of The Tempest in Hong Kong as part of the Shakespeare Lives Festival and a new version of The Tin Soldier for BoP.
Theatre credits as an actor include: Reasons to be Cheerful; (Graeae); The Threepenny Opera (New Wolsey Theatre/Graeae/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nottingham Playhouse/Birmingham Rep); The Who’s Tommy (New Wolsey Theatre/Ramps on the Moon); Blanche and Butch (BoP).
EMILY ROSE SALTER – Duckling Smith
Emily trained at the University of Reading for three years in Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies and graduated in 2015. Previous training includes BTEC Dance 90 Credit Extended Diploma (3) at Colchester Institute.
Theatre credits include: War Crimes for the Home (Pulse Festival); Fingersmiths (New Wolsey Theatre); Depot (Mercury Theatre).
Television credits include: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Remark).
Film credits include: Acceptable Damage (Rebel without crew Films).
Emily is excited to be on tour with Our Country’s Good. She has been a passionate performer from the age of 6 and attended drama and dance clubs/schools such as Stagecoach, Sadler’s Wells, Mercury Youth Theatre and Green Candle Dance Studios. Since graduating things have progressed, and after her role as Assistant Stage Manager on a recent Ramps on the Moon Production, The Who’s Tommy, she is now delighted to be making her professional debut as a performer.
NABIL SHABAN – Judge David Collins
Nabil is the co-founder of Graeae Theatre Company of Disabled Artists, founded in 1980. He is an actor, writer and film-maker spanning three-and-a-half decades.
Theatre credits include: Godspell (Jeanette Cochrane Theatre); The Emperor; Iranian Nights; Downfall (Royal Court); Hamlet (Cleveland Theatre Company); Nativity (Half Moon Theatre); Imagine Drowning (Hampstead Theatre); Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre); DARE; I am the Walrus; The Threepenny Opera; Marat/Sade; Endgame (Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh); The First to Go (Benchtours); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Unicorn).
Television credits include: Doctor Who – voice of the alien villain Sil (BBC); Deptford Graffiti (Channel 4).
Film credits include: Walter (Central Independent Television); Raspberry Ripple (BBC); Born of Fire (Dehlavi Films); City of Joy (Allied Filmmakers); Wittgenstein (BFI Production).
Nabil has also written and hosted television documentaries including Skin Horse; The Strangest Viking - Ivar the Boneless (Channel 4); Fifth Gospel; The Alien Who Lived in the Sheds (BBC).
His book credits include The Ripper Code and Diary of the Absurd.