‘I consider Brumby Innes to be in a class by itself’, wrote theatre director Gregan McMahon in 1927. ‘It is a very remarkable work, comparable to some of the best of Eugene O’Neill’s, and it is, moreover, essentially Australian.’
Written in the 1920s, Brumby Innes confronts the turbulent relations between the sexes and the races in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is published with another Prichard play from the 1920s, Bid Me To Love which, by contrast, is set among the fashionable rich in the lush hills outside Perth.
The two plays are compelling for their dramatic styles and for their insight into the novels which followed: Coonardoo and Intimate Strangers. And both had to wait more than forty years for their first production.