Publications

  • $30

    Bowerbird

    Mostly it feels like you don't know—like you're reaching for something that you can't quite grab. Some writers talk about their fear of the blank page, but the playwright who draws work from life can have the opposite problem. Spoilt for choice. Presented with myriad possibilities and competing ideas of how to condense the source material or arrange it in a theatrically dynamic, original and compelling way. Lost in a sea of options, yet perversely obsessed with the interview not done, the perspective not transcribed, the final piece of the jigsaw forever elusive. And it's not about a lack of confidence, although that can hum away in the background for longer than you might expect. It's about not trying to have clarity. It's about waiting until you do.'

    So begins Bowerbird, a journey through the life and plays of Alana Valentine, as well as the creative process behind the plays. One of Australia's most inventive playwrights, Alana shows the power of bringing new audiences into our theatres to share the space with traditional audiences, detailing how to gather and transform lived experience into compelling drama. In Bowerbird she reveals the motor of her artistry by combining stories from her life with observations from her experience.

    'Bowerbird is written with all the humanity, wisdom, humour and generosity that we recognise and love in Alana Valentine's work. This is much more than a guide for aspiring writers: this is a book for anyone who loves theatre, its power and its people.' Neil Armfield AO

  • $22.99

    Barbara and the Camp Dogs

    Barbara and the Camp Dogs awards
    I want to be extreme 
    Unreasonably rude 
    I like to spit and scream 
    Inappropriately crude 
    I drink St Agnes Brandy 
    In a paper cup with ice 
    And when I’m feeling randy 
    Don’t expect me to be nice 
    High maintenance me 
    Real piece of work you see 
    A troublesome stunt 
    instincts of a ….

    Wild, unpredictable, and deeply vulnerable, Barbara and her sister René are singing for their lives. Barbara’s been trying to make it in Sydney, but when their mother’s health deteriorates, the sisters embark on a pilgrimage back home to country. Full of painful, unfinished business for Barbara, their return sends her into a downward spiral. Can Barbara find a way to resolve the past in time to preserve love in the only family she has known? Through music that ranges from punk-inspired explosions of rage, to tender rock and soul ballads full of yearning, Barbara and the Camp Dogs is a gob-spit of fun, frenzy and family that finds beauty in honesty and hope in confronting the past.
  • $33.99

    Dear Lindy

    A Nation Responds to the Loss of Azaria

    As Lindy mourned the death of her baby daughter Azaria, taken by a dingo from a campsite at Uluru in 1980, she was tried and convicted in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.

    The court of public opinion had already made its ruling, shown in the thousands of hurtful, supportive, accusatory or sympathetic letters Lindy received.

    The letters featured in this book were painstakingly collected and filed by Lindy over the past 37 years, and include anonymous vitriol, eccentric rants, words of prayer and support, and every other possible response.

    'This book shows just how far, wide, and deep the story has gone’ Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton
  • $22.99

    Cold Light

    Here comes Edith Campbell Berry, fresh from International acclaim at the League of Nations, handsome British diplomatic husband in tow. Look out 1950’s Canberra, she’s on her way to the top. Or is she? 

    The League was after all a failure, and hubby dear is a secret cross dresser and her long lost brother is a Communist agitator watched by a fledgling ASIO. Maybe those dreams of renewed diplomatic honour might take longer than she thinks to materialize. A lot longer. And so to be ‘acceptable’ she consults the Book of Crossroads, bungles her inner life, remarries badly, and compromises her career options.   

    An epic story of national significance, Cold Light surveys the transformation of Australia from the post-WWII Menzies era to the mid-1970’s Whitlam government and asks timely questions about Australia’s relationship to women of vision and people of difference.
  • $22.99

    Letters to Lindy

    "The most powerful thing that has been done on my story, and the most true to what I lived through."  –  Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton

    The court case captivated a nation. A mother accused of murdering her child, her claim – that the baby was taken by a dingo – denied and discredited by zealous police and a flawed legal system. The media circus, the rumours, the nation’s prejudices laid bare. And in the eye of the storm: Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton.

    Over three decades, from baby Azaria’s death to the final coroner’s report, the public’s fascination with Lindy seldom waned. The National Library holds a collection of more than 20,000 letters to Lindy. From sympathy to abuse, from marriage proposals to death threats, the correspondence traverses the gamut of responses to Lindy’s story.

    Letters to Lindy draws on this correspondence and interviews with Lindy herself. It is an enthralling, revealing, and long overdue dialogue between Lindy and the nation; a portrait of the wisdom and resilience of a grieving mother.

    This new work by award-winning playwright Alana Valentine (Ladies Day, Parramatta Girls) explores the public’s relationship with one of Australia’s most iconic figures.

    "A fascinating collage of Australian attitudes to grief, justice,celebrity, and women who do not conform." – Sydney Morning Herald
  • $19.99

    Ladies Day

    2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
    It’s Ladies Day at the Broome races and the divinely beautiful Mike is the toast of the track. But amongst the froth and festivity, a brutal act of violence reminds us that life is not just all swishy hemlines, debonair gents and fascinators galore.

    Known for her incredibly successful verbatim works, Alana takes her interviews and research with individuals and communities, and mixes them with a healthy dose of drama. The result is powerful, thought-provoking theatre in which the voices of her protagonists ring absolutely true.

    Alana spent months interviewing the gay community in the Top End, Katherine and Broome to create a play that asks questions about tolerance, isolation, love, hope and the right to have your story told. Ladies Day is a vivid, richly evocative play with a big heart.

  • $26.95

    Cyberbile and Grounded

    Cyberbile and Grounded awards
    Multi-award winning playwright Alana Valentine brings us two plays that deal head-on with teenage issues fraught with difficulty - bullying, belonging, isolation, identity.
     
    Cyberbile is a candid, moving and sometimes shocking glimpse into the online world of today’s teen generation. Based on interviews conducted by students – from PLC Sydney – with teachers, parents and their fellow students, Cyberbile is a verbatim-based drama which speaks from and to the hearts of Australia’s young adults. Sometimes frightening, more often courageously funny, Cyberbile is a play for any parent who is worried about their child’s relationship to the online community or any young person who wants to understand how to survive the bullying that technology can uniquely unleash.
     
    Set against the backdrop of one of the most intriguing events in Newcastle’s recent history – the grounding of the Pasha Bulka – Grounded is a coming of-age tale centred around Farrah, a young Novocastrian with a fascination for Newcastle’s industrial port, a fascination none of her peers share or comprehend. Through her obsession we explore universal themes of isolation, belonging and identity and that time in your life when the obsessions of childhood get grounded in reality.
     
    Erratum: In the published version of Cyberbile, the author would like to acknowledge that 'I had a dream that was not all a dream' is a variation on the first line of Lord Byron's poem 'Darkness'.
  • $29.99

    Parramatta Girls and Eyes To The Floor

    Helpmann Award Best New Australian Work 2008Chronicles the experience of girls sent from Parramatta Girls Home to the Hay Girls Home for even more brutal, punitive treatment. Written to be played by young adults, this moving work emphasises the childlike vulnerability of the inmates in a world where they must find connection with each other in order to survive. Artfully woven with movement, chorus work and poetry, it is a compelling companion work to Parramatta Girls.
  • $21.95

    Parramatta Girls

    Helpmann Award Best New Australian Work 2008

    “Upwards of, and possibly more than 500,000 Australians experienced care in an orphanage, Home or other form of out-of-home care during the last century. As many of these people have had a family it is highly likely that every Australian either was, is related to, works with or knows someone who experienced childhood in an institution or out-of-home care environment.”

    Forgotten Australians, Senate Committee Report, August 2004

    The inmates of Girls Training School, Parramatta had about as hard an upbringing as you can get in Australia. But theirs is also one of the great untold stories of making good in tough times.

    Based on the testimony of dozens of GTS old-girls, this vibrant new play is a joyous and harrowing dramatisation of the experiences of eight inmates and their reunion forty years later. Interspersed with song and storytelling, this is a tribute to mischief and humour in the face of hardship and inequality.
    My name's Gayle and I was here in the fifties. They set this place up in 1908 and they didn't close it til 1980. Well, my maths has never been very good but maths or no maths, 200 girls by eighty years is a lot to answer for. We've got somethin’ in common, ladies, and we're gonna share it today.

  • $21.95

    Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah

    Kit Denton Fellowship Nomination 2008

    What do you do when you profoundly disagree with someone you love? Wearing a hijab is a touchstone of religious identity, but it is also imbued with a complex array of historical and contemporary meanings. In Alana Valentine’s new play, the cultural meaning of the hijab has become a wedge between generations.

    At the heart of Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah is the relationship between an aunt and her niece. Both devout Muslims, the younger woman wants to put on a headscarf, the older woman tries to dissuade her. For Aunt Sarrinah, the hijab represents a world from which she has escaped; for her niece, Shafana, it is a personal statement of renewed faith. 
    Alana Valentine has written a startling meditation on the clash between individual freedom and community reaction and, as academic Christina Ho acclaims, ‘ a quietly insightful intervention that portrays what media headlines never can; the multiple meanings of the headscarf for Muslim women’.

    To read an extract from Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah, see this PDF.

  • $21.95

    Run Rabbit Run

    Winner QLD Literary Award Best Play 2005

    When the National Rugby League thought they could jettison the Rabbitohs to streamline their competition they were in for a shock. South Sydney, a proud club that had won more premierships than any other, refused to lie down. Valentine’s play is a verbatim piece about the battle to overturn the decision. Based on extensive interviews with both the public faces of the campaign and the grassroots supporters, this is a story of passion and politics that goes beyond football. For when South Sydney came out fighting they proved the importance of community and the power of momentum. Their battle in the courts and streets of Sydney captured the imagination of the wider population as they successfully fought to regain the right to play league football at the top level.

  • $24.95

    Savage Grace & Love Potions

    Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award 2002

    Savage Grace: During his residency at an Australian hospital, Dr Tex Cladakis, an American HIV specialist, meets bioethics professor Robert Bavaro. They clash over ethical issues, but despite or perhaps because of this, a passionate sexual affair develops between them. As Cladakis considers assisting the suicide of one of his terminally ill patients, the moral ground shifts and the stakes escalate, threatening their personal beliefs and the trust and love that is growing between them.

    Love Potions: Three couples negotiate their way into intimacy, aided by tea, wine and chocolate. Love Potions has a pre-coital first half and a post-coital second, intercut with some naughty and very sexy verbatim revelations. More than a celebration of the nexus between sex and food, these clever, short plays are tender and passionate glimpses of human nature at its most vulnerable. Why do some people develop a sensuous relationship with their world and others remain indifferent to the subtleties of flavour, texture and taste?

  • $24.95

    Singing the Lonely Heart & Ozone

    Singing the Lonely Heart: Loosely based on the life of Southern American writer Carson McCullers, this Gothic fantasia reveals writer Alana Valentine's engagement with a compelling magic realist style. Set in Columbus, Georgia, in the late 1920s, the play opens at a travelling freak show, where Carson first becomes aware of her sense of difference. It goes on to depict an unconventional Southern upbringing and its inevitable clash with the narrow-minded attitudes of small town America—particularly its racial and sexual prejudices. Out of this conflict Carson emerges as a character who is at once disarmingly frank and worldly yet strangely innocent and affecting.

    'This is less a neat chronology of a famous life, and more a series of illuminations around the edgy sensibility of a writer and outcast' Martin Portus, Sydney Star Observer

    Ozone: A man has been stripped of his skin, just as the world is being stripped of its protective membrane of life-saving ozone. But flying back with him on the flight to Australia are four deal-makers who have in their power the ability to reverse both his and the globe's fate. Or do they? A surreal and hilarious comic farce meets a deadly environmental thriller in this compelling drama which fuses the pain of love with the horrors of global warming.

    'Underlying this zany comedy is a three layered metaphor about protection—from the ozone layer that protects the planet, the plane that protects the travellers and the human skin that protects the individual.' Alison Cotes, Brisbane Courier Mail

  • The Conjurers

    NSW Literary Award Nomination 1997Two magicians are touring their show along the Great Ocean Road of south-western Victoria. The further down the coast they travel, the more they are drawn into a mystical world of self-realisation and discovery about one another and the country around them. When the magicians assistant, Gala, begins to conjure out of the sea the ghost of a Sea Captain, whose ship was wrecked on rocks in 1845, the drama becomes a life and death struggle between reality and illusion.
  • Swimming the Globe

    Conda Nomination 1996
    Two swimmers have their sights set on Olympic Gold: Stace and Igorina. Stace lives and trains in Australia and is starting to make her way up the competition ladder. Igorina lives in an unnamed war zone with little possibility of athletic glory. Their stories are linked by Mark Monroe, a sports journalist and war correspondent whose life is altered and affected by the changing fortunes of both girls. As the Olympics draws near, Igorina urges Stace to an action which could make her lose everything.

    A play about teenage ambition and the Olympic ideal.

    To purchase this item, please contact the playwright directly.