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Title: 'Summer Rain': Sweet Nostalgia
Contributor(s): Lever, Susan (author); Pender, Anne (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: Nick Enright's musical, written with Terence Clarke, honours the musical styles and experiences of a previous Australian generation. This chapter explores the ironic, parodic way that it creates the Australian musical that never existed, a generation after it should have. Australian audiences of the 1940s and 1950s loved the Hollywood musical, and the great American Broadway musical s of the period. It was also a time when the old vaudeville troupes that travelled outback Australia were dying. The songs in Summer Rain deliberately reference both Hollywood and Australian traditions, lightly parodying them in 'Watch the Puddles', or improving them in 'The Casuarina Tree'. At the same time, Enright's musical presents a more modest and laconic Australian attitude that is tongue-in-cheek, and always light-hearted. This story of renewal, forgiveness and recovery after war and drought retrospectively promises a better future for the post-war generation. This chapter analyses some of the patterns of parody and allusion in the play, while arguing that its detailed reference to the language and history of the period prevents it from becoming mere pastiche, and that its humour undercuts its sentimentality.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Nick Enright: An Actor's Playwright, p. 173-184
Publisher: Rodopi Press
Place of Publication: Amsterdam
ISBN: 9789042024601
Field of Research (FOR): 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Australian playwrights
Series Number : 12
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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