“Illuminating, sensitive and current.” – The Times
“Generous and inclusive” – The Stage
A Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company Production in co-production with Ramps on the Moon
By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Based on The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
Our Country’s Good is both a comedy and a powerful drama which shows us how we can escape the chains that bind us.
In 1787, ships each with over 700 convicts on board set sail on an eight month voyage. When they arrive in Australia, their survival is by no means certain: supplies are running out, the convicts are stealing food or trying to escape and the guards are threatening mutiny.
Our Country’s Good tells the extraordinary true story of a group of convicts and a young officer who rehearse and perform a play – Australia’s first theatrical production. With opposition from the officers and a leading lady who may be hanged, the odds are stacked against them.
Our Country’s Good is a touring production made in co‑production with Ramps on the Moon, whose previous collaborations over the last two years include the comedy hit The Government Inspector and a critically acclaimed version of The Who’s Tommy. The production features the creative use of audio description, signing, and captions.
Colin trained at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre.
Theatre credits include: Waiting for Godot (Tobacco Factory Theatres/The Dukes/Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); The Father (Oldham Coliseum Theatre/Harrogate Theatre); The Winter’s Tale; To Kill a Mockingbird; A View from the Bridge; Can’t Pay Won’t Pay; Tull; Of Mice and Men; Macbeth; Habeus Corpus; The Demolition Man; Romeo and Juliet; Love on the Dole; A Streetcar Named Desire; Comedians (Octagon Theatre, Bolton); Twopence To Cross The Mersey (Liverpool Empire); The Cruel Sea (Liverpool Everyman); Whistle In The Dark (Royal Exchange/Tricycle Theatre); Steptoe and Son (Octagon Studio); The Towers Of Babel (24:7).
Television credits include: The Job Lot; Scott and Bailey; Emmerdale; Coronation Street; The Royal (ITV); Doctors; Moving On; Peaky Blinders; Prisoners’ Wives (BBC); Hollyoaks (Channel 4); See No Evil (Granada).
Film credits include: Dementamania (Ronin Productions); A Girl at Death’s Door (Short Film).
Colin won two Manchester Theatre Awards in 2016: Best Actor (Eddie Carbone – A View from the Bridge) and Best Fringe Performance for the title role in Mr Smith.
Tom trained at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
Theatre credits include: Roots; The Marked (Theatre Témoin); Adventure To Oz; The Twelve Days Of Christmas (ChickenShed); The Remarkable Tale Of Oliver Twist (Red Earth Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Vertical Line Theatre); Soft Beats the Heart; Take Angel Home (Theatre503); Ages (Old Vic New Voices); Hamlet (Primary Shakespeare Company); Romeo and Juliet (Young Shakespeare Company); More Important Things; Free (Half Moon Theatre); The Frog Prince (Skewbald Theatre); All Together Now (The North Wall Arts Centre); Burning Gardens (Goat and Monkey); Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Television credits include: EastEnders (BBC); Capital One (Channel 4); Macmillan (Channel 5).
Jarrad trained at Guildford School of Acting
Theatre credits include: Our Country’s Good; Buckets; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Journey’s End; Pericles; All My Sons; Ghosts (Guildford School of Acting).
Television credits include: Father Brown (BBC).
Film credits include: Petroleum Spirit (Mirror Productions); Made in Wales: First Sign of Love (BBC).
Theatre credits include: Contractions; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Deafinitely Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company); Emma (London Bubble Theatre Company/UK Tour).
Television credits include: Deaf Funny (Juggle Productions); Don’t Leave Me This Way; Switch (BBC).
Radio credits include: All Fingers and Thumbs (BBC Radio 4).
Fifi made her acting debut with London Deaf Drama Group aged 19 and has been performing ever since. She has appeared in over twenty productions on stage and screen and has worked with, among others, Bill Nighy, Jenny Éclair and Joe Absolom. Fifi has appeared in commercials for BT and as a studio dancer for Smirnoff. She has also been a presenter for See Hear on the BBC and Women of the World.
In addition to her acting career, Fifi works freelance within creative media, translating from English to BSL, directing, filming and editing.
Theatre credits include: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company); A Midsummer Night’s Dream; All’s Well That Ends Well (Stratford Festival, Canada); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; To Kill a Mockingbird (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Awake and Sing (Almeida Theatre); The Odd Couple (Liverpool Playhouse); The Iron Man; The Evidence (New Perspectives); Get Carter (Red Shift Theatre Company); Dial M for Murder; Who’s Life is it Anyway; Strangers on a Train; (Frinton Summer Theatre); Bingo (Young Vic/ Chichester Festival Theatre); The Front Page (Chichester Festival Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Nottingham Playhouse); And Nothing but the Truth (V-TOL); 900 Oneonta (The Old Vic); Woyzek; (Omnibus Theatre, Clapham).
Television credits include: EastEnders; Doctors; Out of the Blue; Gracie! (BBC); Poirot; The Bill (ITV); Hollyoaks (Channel 4); In Suspicious Circumstances (Granada Television); Brass Eye (TalkBack Productions); Space Precinct (Grove Television Enterprises).
Film credits include: Full Metal Jacket;Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros); Bonhoeffer (First Run Features); Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount Pictures); Coriolanus (Hermetof Pictures); BEAT (Background Productions); Papillon (Czech Anglo Productions).
Radio credits include: The Putney Debates; The Corrupted; Luther (BBC Radio 4).
Keiren trained at the Birmingham School of Acting.
Theatre credits include: Freeman; Green Leaves Fall (Belgrade Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Solids and Liquids (Crescent Theatre); Joseph K (Old Joint Stock Theatre); Hugless Douglas (National Tour).
Television credits include: Break Up of the Bands (ITV Studio America).
Film credits include: Consequences (Strictly Arts Theatre).
Keiren has recently started his playwriting career with a sold-out performance of Zulu Blue at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Theatre credits include: Oliver Twist (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The New Nigerians (Arcola Theatre); The Night Watch (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse); Hopelessly Devoted (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/Paines Plough/Tricycle Theatre); The Coloured Museum (Talawa Theatre); Death and the Kings Horseman (National Theatre); Duck (Unicorn); The Next Big Thing (Tell Tara); God is a DJ (Theatre Centre); Rent (English Theatre, Frankfurt); The Bat (New Vic, Newcastle); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre); Missing (Theatre Centre/National Tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Byre Theatre/National Tour); Godspell (Gateway Theatre).
Television credits include: Famalam; SunnyD; One Night; Holby City; Black Britain (BBC); Broadchurch (ITV); What’s Your News (Nickelodeon).
Film credits include: Good Night (Blind Eye Films); Cocktail (Illuminati Films).
Radio Credits Include: The Ferryhill Philosophers (Catherine Bailey Ltd); Clare in the Community (BBC); Lysisstrata (Angel Eye Media); The Interview (BBC Radio 3); Binti’s Party; Jero (BBC World Service); No.1 Ladies Detective Agency; Sensationomics; Troiluss and Cressida; Ambridge Extra (BBC Radio 4); Doctor Who Audio Plays (Big Finish Productions).
Sapphire trained at Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre credits include: Imogen (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Asphalt Kiss (StoneCrabs/New Diorama); More Important Things (Half Moon Theatre); The Day the Waters Came (Theatre Centre); Krunch (Talawa/UK and South African Tour); Malachi (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Gifted (Okai Collier Company/White Bear); Just Me, Bell (Graeae).
Television credits include: Casualty; Crimewatch (BBC); Seconds From Disaster: Jonestown Cult Suicide (National Geographic).
Will trained at the Actors Centre and Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre credits include: An Ideal Husband (KDC Theatre); Silent Royal; Don’t Look Back in Anger (Deafinitely Theatre); Red and Yellow (Handprint Theatre); Sick (Graeae); Brain (Filmpro).
Film credits include: Daddy Dearest (Artemis Christodoulou); Patient 35 (Eduard Vijulie), Happy Birthday (Jules Rampton); Dead Man’s Shoes (Jamie Hillier).
Will has co-narrated The Iron Man for the BBC and has appeared in music videos for 1,2,1,2 (Island records) and Break Your Phone (Bullion Productions). He has also featured in commercials for Smirnoff’s We’re Open campaign (Bold Company) and The Big Issue’s Change Please campaign (Nice Shirts Films). Will has worked for Handprint Theatre several times, performing in a short children’s educational show and facilitating workshops which Handprint create and provide themselves. He was also part of Handprint’s team when they did stage scene workshops for Mousetrap Productions.
Our Country’s Good is Will’s first touring theatre production.
An Aboriginal Austrailian
Theatre credits include: The Threepenny Opera (Graeae/New Wolsey Theatre/Nottingham Playhouse/Birmingham Repertory Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Tempest (Taking Flight); Titus Andronicus (The Theory of Everything); Exhibit B (Third World Bunfight/Barbican Centre); Early Days of a Better Nation (Coney); No One Is An Island (Tangle); Calling Tree (Artsadmin;) Paralympic Opening Ceremony (LOCOG); The Garden (Graeae).
Television credits include: Celebrity Bedlam (Objective Productions); A Unica Mulher (Plural Entertainment); Regresso a Sizalinda (Antonia Seabra Producoes).
Film credits include: Bonobo (Fable Films); Twist of Fate (Clap Filmes); Le Dauphin (Madragoa); Is Just Sex (Crimson Black).
Radio Credits include: Brave New World; The Lost World ( BBC Radio 4).
Milton is currently developing Elephant, a show involving circus, theatre and live music with deaf and disabled multidisciplinary performers which incorporates sign language and audio description that, subject to funding, will tour in 2019.
Recent credits include: Fittings Multimedia Arts – Vogue: The Unlimited House of Krip (Vogue Ball 2017, Liverpool); The Tin Soldier (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh) Miranda and Caliban: The Making of a Monster (Birds of Paradise Theatre Company/Hong Kong/Glasgow).
Television credits include: Doctors; Murphy’s Law; Switch (BBC); Stuart a Life Backwards (BBC/HBO).
In the cabaret circuit, Caroline performs in her unique style of signed songs. She recently gave a TEDx talk entitled Singing Without Her Voice. At the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony she signed the closing number ‘I am What I Am’ alongside Beverly Knight.
Caroline also does the stand-up comedy circuit and is a member of Abnormally Funny People. In 2015 Caroline won three Best Actress awards for her role Mabel Morgan in the BSLBT Zone film If I Don’t Lose, I’ll Lose at the Cenedeaf III Rome Film Festival, Clin d’Oeil and Cannes Disability Film Festival 2016.
Second Lieutenant Ralph Clarke
Tim trained at RADA.
Theatre credits include: Short and Stark (Southwark Playhouse); Cat in Sieve (Theatre503); Hospital at the time of the Revolution; A New Play for the General Election (Finborough Theatre); Being The Actor (Royal Festival Hall); Manchester (Soho Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing; The Canterbury Tales (Royal Court); The Exeter Blitz Project (The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter); Cuddle; In the Blood; Great Expectations (Arcola Theatre); The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery (Hoxton Hall); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Earl’s Court); Dead Dog at Dry Cleaners (Pleasance Theatre); Our Town Story (Exeter Northcott Theatre/Millennium Dome).
Television credits include: Black Mirror (Netflix); Howards End; Doctors (BBC) The Vessel (Fyrian Films).
Film credits include: Wonder Woman (Warner Bros); Time is Forever (NFTS); Jenny and Vinny Uncut (JEU Productions); The Sanctuary of Collell (Driver Productions); Gospel of Thomas (Polygram); Goddard and Others (New Troy Productions).
James ‘Ketch’ Freeman
Fergus trained at Trinity College Dublin in Drama and Theatre, Exeter University in Shakespearian Theatre. He is an Irish actor, living in London.
Theatre credits include: Merry Wives of Windsor; All’s Well that Ends Well; The Winter’s Tale; Twelfth Night (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival). He has performed in several productions of the pantomime Snow White as one of the Seven Dwarfs including in Richmond Theatre (2014), Stockport Plaza (2015), Shaw Theatre (2016) and Middlesbrough Theatre (2017).
Television credits include: Game of Thrones (HBO); The Tudors (Showtime); Callins’ Kicks (RTE); Camelot (Starz); Fair City (RTE).
Film credits include: Mary Poppins Returns (Disney); Holmes and Watson (Columbia Pictures); The Jungle Book (Warner Brothers); Assassin’s Creed (New Regency Pictures); Killing Lionel (Sunsetrider Productions.); Deadly Presents (Bloody Cuts); Your Highness (Stuber Productions).
Garry has directed over 40 professional productions both here and abroad, receiving several awards including a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and a Herald Angel.
He recently directed a Hip Hop Theatre Installation for Café Missing, a show in Siberia for KultProject Moscow at the Skomorokh Puppet Theatre, a re-imagining of The Tempest in Hong Kong as part of the Shakespeare Lives Festival and a new version of The Tin Soldier for BoP.
Theatre credits as an actor include: Reasons to be Cheerful; (Graeae); The Threepenny Opera (New Wolsey Theatre/Graeae/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nottingham Playhouse/Birmingham Rep); The Who’s Tommy (New Wolsey Theatre/Ramps on the Moon); Blanche and Butch (BoP).
Emily Rose Salter
Emily Rose Salter
Emily trained at the University of Reading for three years in Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies and graduated in 2015. Previous training includes BTEC Dance 90 Credit Extended Diploma (3) at Colchester Institute.
Theatre credits include: War Crimes for the Home (Pulse Festival); Fingersmiths (New Wolsey Theatre); Depot (Mercury Theatre).
Television credits include: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Remark).
Film credits include: Acceptable Damage (Rebel without crew Films).
Emily is excited to be on tour with Our Country’s Good. She has been a passionate performer from the age of 6 and attended drama and dance clubs/schools such as Stagecoach, Sadler’s Wells, Mercury Youth Theatre and Green Candle Dance Studios. Since graduating things have progressed, and after her role as Assistant Stage Manager on a recent Ramps on the Moon Production, The Who’s Tommy, she is now delighted to be making her professional debut as a performer.
Captain David Collins
Dave trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre credits include: Queen Anne (Royal Shakespeare Company/Theatre Royal Haymarket); Macbeth (Theatre Severn); Treasure Island; Of Mice and Men (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Hamlet; As You Like It; All’s Well That Ends Well (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse); Rough Crossings (Tour); The Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith); Macbeth (Out of Joint/World Tour); The Odyssey (Bristol Old Vic/Tour); Paradise Lost (Bristol Old Vic); The Special Relationship (York Theatre Royal/Tour); Dido, Queen of Carthage (Shakespeare’s Globe); Crime and Punishment in Dalston (Arcola Theatre); Caledonian Road (Almeida Theatre); The Nativity (Young Vic); Twelfth Night (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton).
Television credits include: Moses Jones; Casualty; Judge John Deed; Between the Lines (BBC); See How They Run (KEO Films); Buried (World); The Bill; A Touch of Frost (ITV); Macbeth (BBC Shools).
Film credits include: Bridget Jones’ Diary (Miramax); If Only (Intermedia Films); The Fifth Element (Gaumont); The Gathering (Granada Film Productions).
- Timberlake Wertenbaker
- Fiona Buffini
- Neil Murray
- Mark Jonathan
- Jon Nicholls
Simon Trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre credits include: Islands (Bush Theatre/Edinburgh Festival); Beyond Midnight (Trestle Theatre Company); Sherlock Holmes In Trouble (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Tempest (Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds and Theatre Setup); Revolting (which he also wrote for Jacksons Lane/The Ministry of Clowns); Pericles and Spangleguts (London Bubble); The Fly (Oldham Coliseum); Now You Know (Hampstead Theatre); Hamlet and Bartleby (Red Shift); Tartuffe (Mappa Mundi); Fanny Hill (Duke’s Theatre, Lancaster); Waiting For Godot (Tottering Bipeds); The Fall Of The House Of Usher, Volpone, Into The Mystic and UBU (Graeae); Collateral Damage and Subterranean (Traverse Theatre) and The Changeling (Battersea Arts Centre),
Television and film credits include: The Musketeers, Doctors, Mapp And Lucia, Holby City, Tag, Criminal Justice, Everytime I Look At You, Dunkirk, Are You Looking At Me? and Rhyming Criplets (BBC); Keen Eddie (Paramount) Presverve (Channel Four).
Prior to becoming a freelance casting director, Polly worked at the Royal Exchange Theatre with whom she continues to enjoy a close relationship.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre credits include: Of Mice And Men, Anita And Me, A Christmas Carol, Circles, Feed The Beast, Back Down and Folk.
Other recent credits include: Wit (Royal Exchange) and The Ghost Train (Royal Exchange/Told by an Idiot); Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Brideshead Revisited (ETT & York Theatre Royal), Merlin (Royal & Derngate/Nuffield Theatre) and Beyond The Fence (Sky Arts, Wingspan and Neil Laidlaw Productions – Arts Theatre).
Polly’s current credits include: A feature film based on Catherine Bruton’s novel We Can Be Heroes; Educating Rita (Hull Truck) and The Hound Of The Baskervilles (York Theatre Royal). She will also shortly begin casting for a major new production of a Broadway musical that will tour the UK in 2017.
News & Updates
Performances / Venues
Thestage.co.uk - "generous and inclusive"
The Times - "Illuminating, sensitive and current. And, with its intertwining of verbal and visual language, it has a poeticism that is stirring and at times almost hypnotic."
Last night I went to Nottingham Playhouse to see Ramps on the Moon’s “Our Country’s Good” which is a fully accessible play, it is spoken, signed, captioned and has audio description. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the production from friends who have been working on the rehearsals and just had to see it for myself. Whilst it was a very busy play from a deaf person’s perspective, -there was a lot going on on stage at times- I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s part comedy and part serious with messages that are still valid today. I was in awe of Caroline Parker, a Deaf actress who I have met a few times and seen her perform previously. She was able to remember such a lot, as she was Signing and doing voiceover for a number of characters, that says a lot of the person she is taking on such a big responsibility, I couldn’t manage half of what she did. There were a few other characters who also signed and did voiceover too, but none of them made me feel like I was part of the audience watching a play within a play like Caroline! That woman is a genius! Another character I loved was the lady who played Duckling, the seriousness of her character was so believable that you couldn’t help but feel what she was going through, she had moments where she was funny too but you really had to feel for her. What I liked most was the way that BSL was used in the play, it is a visual language but the play seemed to add another dimension to the language in how descriptive the language is. This was partly down to the creativity of Paula Garfield, the creative director of Deafinitely theatre. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet Paula and her sister Fifi a few times and yes the Deaf community is small, hence knowing people (morgan always thinks it’s funny that everywhere we go, I know someone!) To me, whilst there were a lot of hearing actors on stage, I was drawn to the deaf actors, not because I am deaf myself, but because they made the play come alive. I do normally follow the captions when i go to the theatre but I was so engrossed in the descriptive nature of the BSL that I forgot the captions were there! I can highly recommend the play, which is on in Nottingham until March 24th before going on a 5 theatre tour round the UK. If you get the opportunity, please go and see it, you won’t regret it!! Now I need to go and work on my performance skills, I want to be an actor!!!
Exeuntmagazine - "It makes human one of the most important points that Ramps on the Moon keep returning to – we shouldn’t be surprised to see and hear beauty emerge from those who society often treats with disdain.."
Nottingham Post - "...this particular production is, in important respects, quite outstanding."