'Modern classic' is the fitting accolade bestowed on Our Country's Good soon after its premiere in 1988, directed by Max Stafford-Clark at the Royal Court Theatre. The play tells the story of a production of George Farquhar's 1706 play The Recruiting Officer by a company of convicts in the early days of the Australian penal colony. The Page to Stage series offers insightful and authoritative introductions by well-kwn theatre professionals. Instead of an academic or analytical study of the play, Stafford-Clark brings his own involvement in its history, and his unrivalled experience as a director, to presenting an in-depth study of how it actually works on stage. After an introduction about the creation of the play, the reader is conducted through its action, the historical context, its characters, and how the play was rehearsed and designed for its original production.
MAX STAFFORD-CLARK established Joint Stock in 1974, ran the Royal Court Theatre 1979-93, and then set up the extremely successful touring theatre company, Out of Joint, which he continues to run. He is the author of Letters to George (also published by NHB), a rehearsal journal about his own staging of The Recruiting Officer.