|Written by||Sumner Locke Elliott|
|Setting||Northern Territory during World War II|
Rusty Bugles was a controversial Australian play written by Sumner Locke Elliott in 1948. It toured extensively throughout Australia between 1948–1949 and was threatened with closure by the New South Wales Chief Secretary's Office for obscenity.
It was first produced by Doris Fitton and Sydney's Independent Theatre company on 14 October 1948, and advertised as an "army comedy documentary". The announcement of its ban was made by J. M. Baddeley, Chief Secretary and acting Premier of New South Wales, on 22 October but after initially defying the ban, Doris Fitton avoided a forced closure by commissioning a rewrite from the author.
The Independent Theatre took the play, after an unprecedented 20-week run in New South Wales, to reopen The King's Theatre, Melbourne. Meanwhile, another company was playing "Rusty Bugles" at Killara, New South Wales, so it was the first Australian play to run simultaneously in two states. The words that were the subject of the ban gradually reappeared; no legal action was ever taken, though rewrites were demanded in different states.
At the end of its record six-month run in Melbourne, the production transferred to Adelaide, then returned to Sydney at The Tatler. But now critics were writing that it was being played for laughs, with the swearing self-conscious rather than part of the patois.
The publisher of the play, Currency Press, quotes Elliott as saying that Rusty Bugles was 'a documentary... Not strictly a play... it has no plot in the accepted sense'. Elliott did not foresee that shortly after this, the genre of the theatre of the absurd would be established as a 'legitimate' dramatic form where plot and the delineation of character are less important than the insight offered into the implicit drama of most human interactions.
- Des Nolan ("Gig") - John Kingsmill
- Vic Richards - Ivor Bromley-Smith
- Sergeant Brooks - Sidney Chambers
- Rod Carsen - Ronald Frazer
- Andy Edwards ("The Little Corporal") - Robert Crome
- Otford ("Ot") - Alistair Roberts
- Mac - Frank O'Donnell
- Ollie - John Unicomb
- Chris - Kevin Healy
- "Darky" McClure - Lloyd Berrell
- "Keghead" Stephens - Ralph Peterson
- Corporal - doubled
- Ken Falcon ("Dean Maitland") - Michael Barnes
- First Private - Jack Wilkinson
- Second Private - James Lyons
- Bill Hendry (YMCA Sergeant) - Frank Curtain
- Private - Peter Hartland
- Jack Turner (Sigs Corporal) - doubled
- Sigs Private - doubled
- Sammy Kuhn - Kenneth Colbert
The play was adapted for TV by the ABC in 1965 and then later in 1981.
The play was also adapted by the ABC for radio in 1965.
|Directed by||Alan Burke|
|Written by||John Warwick|
|Based on||play by Sumner Locke Elliott|
|23 June 1965|
It was Alan Burke's first production for the ABC since he returned from England.
The cast of the 1965 film was:
- Jack Allan as Mac
- John Armstrong as Andy
- Stuart Finch as Gig Ape
- Kerry Francis as Rod
- Guy le Claire as Darky
- Robert McDarra as Sgt Brooks
- Rod Moore as Keghead
- Graham Rouse as Vic
- Michael Thomas as Ot
- Mark Edwards
|Directed by||John Matthews|
|Produced by||Alan Burke|
|Written by||Alan Burke|
|Based on||play by Sumner Locke Elliott|
Sumner Locke Elliot announced in the late 1970s he wanted the play to be filmed.
The ABC filmed it in 1981.
The Canberra Times called the 1981 production "the sort of entertainment that makes satire redundant."
- Sydney Morning Herald 22 October 1948
- Sydney Morning Herald 23 October 1948
- Sydney Morning Herald 28 October 1948
- "Opening the Season" (Melbourne) Argus 16 April 1949
- "Rusty Bugles ran in two cities" (Sydney) Sunday Herald 24 April 1949
- "Candid Comment" (Sydney) Sunday Herald 15 May 1949
- "Rusty Bugles sound a false note" Sydney Morning Herald 10 April 1950
- "Introducing the Play". Sumner Locke Elliot's Rusty Bugles. Currency press. Retrieved 2007-09-11.
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p135
- "Rusty Bugles on radio.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 27 April 1965. p. 15. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "TODAY'S TV.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 23 June 1965. p. 19. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "TELEVISION Old sons, new note.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 18 March 1966. p. 13. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Leisure TV Drama Music Art Books Radio The Arts.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 25 June 1965. p. 17. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Two beards and a bright future.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 21 September 1965. p. 13. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "'Bugles' author will help with the movie.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 11 January 1978. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "Culled Cut!.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 2 December 1981. p. 177. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- "TELEVISION By IAN WARDEN Barbarians through a Pythonesque eye.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 12 November 1981. p. 22. Retrieved 25 July 2015.