Eureka! – the annotated script
Published: July 2008
Preview: see e-book
(Direct sale only)
A disparate trio of prospectors seek their fortunes in the turbulent upheavals of the Australian goldrush – and whilst none of them find what they expect, each receives the reward they deserve… possibly…
Described as “an odd cross between a mediaeval mystery-play and an exploration of the meaning of ‘progress’”, this musical comedy/satire was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat in 1854 – a clash between gold-miners and government troops which became one of the founding events of colonial Australia.
Although loosely following the real chronology of the goldrush and its aftermath, all manner of Australiana somehow manage to make their appearance – from the Sydney Opera House and Ned Kelly’s helmet, to lesser-known icons such as Chesty Bond, Skipping Girl and the weekly ritual of Goon Show repeats. There are references, too, to some of the less-than-honest aspects of 21st-century Australian politics and economics; and at a deeper level, it also explores ideas about self-responsibility and ‘rights’-based evasions of responsibility, and the impacts of possession and dispossession.
Originally intended as a film-script, this annotated edition gives the historical background to the story, and identifies the Australian icons and present-day issues that come to light as the story unfolds. It also includes the original 19th-century lyrics of the theme-songs that mark turning-points for each of the main characters.
Author Tom Graves is best known as a writer on a broad range of non-fiction topics – from the structure of organisations to the structure of magic, and much more besides. He applies the same perceptive eye and acerbic humour to this story, his first published work of fiction.