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Black Mary and Gunjies
Black Mary is a play telling the story of Aboriginal bushranger Mary Ann and her partner, Captain Thunderbolt, roaming northwestern New South Wales in the mid-nineteenth century. Dressed like the men, Mary Ann is one of the gang, managing to survive in the outback and to elude capture most of the time. She dreams of returning with Thunderbolt to live with her people but instead witnesses their massacre and plots revenge. The play premiered in Sydney in April 1996.
A contemporary play, Gunjies combines family life, young love, a football match and a debutante ball with political activism, racial discrimination and uneasy relations with police (the gunjies). Janson's characters are ordinary people-warm, funny, resilient-who are suddenly involved in tragedy. First performed in 1993, the International year of Indigenous People, Gunjies was highly commended by the Human Rights Commission and was also nominated for an Australian Writers Guild award.
An introduction provides interesting historical background on bushranger Mary Ann, and both plays are illustrated with photographs. The plays are recommended for Years 7 to 12 Australian history, Aboriginal studies drama and literature.
166 pages; ISBN 9780855755294
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