shopping cart icon

NO INCENSE RISING by George Landen Dann


THEMES: Family Relationships and Obligations


LENGTH: 1.5 Hours
Cast Size
CAST SIZE: 7 - 8 Cast Members
New Vintage
Target Audience
   PLAYWRIGHT: George Landen Dann
$ 9.95
Name: No Incense Rising
File Size: Not Found!
File Name: noincenserising
File Type: pdf
File Path: stories/virtuemart/product/noincenserising.pdf

Print on demand


Please note that this is a digital product. Once purchased, a copy of this product will be downloadable via a link supplied within an automatically dispatched confirmation email. If you have purchased a digital product and did not receive this email please contact us at

*Find out more about Photocopy Licences and Print-On-Demand


A life of one's own at the expense of one's family? Or a life of familial obligation? This is the choice faced by Ada Bergmann. Trapped on a remote island, accessible only by boat, the youthful Ada is burdened by the demands of her widowed mother, the expectations of her ever-patient fiancée Carl Nilssen, and haunted by the prospect of a different life.

Infused with a spirit of tragedy, No Incense Rising is brimming with melodrama and a sense of the gothic: the landscape dominates, wild weather shapes the action, and a sense of menace and looming catastrophe persist throughout. This early example of Dann's work sits strongly within the sizeable canon of gothic Australian, and particularly Queensland theatre and literature.

History SIG 2

Cathartic and confessional, No Incense Rising challenges us on what we would really give up for the people we love.

George Landen Dann was Queensland’s first major playwright, and still is one of the most valuable artists within the Australian canon. In contrast to the targeted socio-political commentary of Dann’s other works featured in the New Vintage collection, No Incense Rising offers a discussion of deeply personal domestic issues that apply on a national scale. 

Part biography, the play’s setting and dramatic tensions set up a gothic, family melodrama. Ava, who is trapped by familial responsibilities and the assumed obligation to remain and care for her mother, is based on Landen Dann’s own struggles. Dislocated from the rest of the world, trapped in a desolate landscape and haunted by the past and dreams of the future, she may also be an allegory for North Queensland’s colonial past and troubled history. The play’s exploration of the parent/child bond encapsulates the same push-pull of life and advancement. The need to acknowledge what has lead to this moment, the desire to grow from and build a future separate to it. The political refracted in the personal. 

 “The recent interest in gothic theatre, in work that is intense and confronting is perhaps a response to an increasingly complex world where people seek ever more intense experiences to feel alive… With No Incense Rising Dann invites us to contemplate our sense of loyalty and obligation … audiences may find themselves contemplating significant questions of themselves and their relationships - asking what they would sacrifice for others and what is the price of happiness, freedom and love,” Susan Davis. 


No Incense Rising was first staged by the Independent Theatre of Sydney in November 1937, and subsequently performed by the Brisbane Repertory Theatre Society and the Dramatists' Club of Australia (Melbourne) in 1938. No Incense Rising was further awarded 1st prize in Sydney's Independent Theatre Play Competition in 1937, and 1st prize in the Dramatists Club of Australia Competition in 1938.

ISBN 978 1 921390 24 1

Categories12 button

Absurdist Button

Black Comedy   Button

Cabaret Button

Clowning Button

Comedic Drama Button

Comedy Button

Drama Button

Education Button

Educational Notes Button

Fantasy Button

Farce button

Gothic Drama Button

Historical Drama button

Indigenous Themes button


Musical button

New Vintage button

Physcial Theatre Button

Playlab INdie button

Prose Button

Text book button

Thriller button

Vauderville button

Verbatim button


Facebook Button copy
Twitter Button

Instagram Button


Queensland Government Logo

Playlab is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland     



© 2017 Playlab

PayPal-logo-1-1Aust Post logo