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Bastard Territory by Stephen Carleton

sub1 THEMES: Family, Identity


LENGTH: 2.5 Hours
Cast Size
CAST SIZE: 5 - 6 Cast Members
Target Audience
   PLAYWRIGHT: Stephen Carleton
$ 23.95
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Bastard Territory 
is a confessional human drama about a man – and a city – carving out an identity. Mixing wry humour, raw insight, a dash of Tennessee Williams and a killer 60s and 70s soundtrack, it’s a powerful and affecting yarn. 

Russell thought he’d made peace with his past, but the skeletons won’t stay in the closet – even if he came out of it long ago. It’s Darwin in 2001, and Russell and his boyfriend run The Tectonic Plate – a hip café, art gallery, and queer cabaret dive. Its walls are about to be shaken by some earth-shattering truths. 

PNG-born Russell came to the Territory with his adoptive white parents, but his boho mum shot through when he was eight. Suddenly, unpleasant memories are dredged up from the murky past and Russell has a new fire to find out the truth of his biological parentage.

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"Stephen Carleton has written a very strong play with great storytelling, complemented with powerful ensemble acting as well as individual performances," - The Cairns Post

"Bastard Territory is a well-crafted, intelligent and entertaining new Australian play," - Real Time

"Bastard Territory deals with some difficult subjects but with such humor and amusing interplay that the audience remains engaged and entertained throughout - the three acts fly by and you are left wanting more," - Cairns Sun

"I love settings in Moresby and Darwin over the three periods, 1967, 1975 and 2001. (…) Carleton’s clever device is to set these turbulent times within a family context," - Glyn Davies, Arts Hub



Bastard Territory was first produced by Knock-em-Down Theatre, Brown’s Mart, and JUTE premiering at Brown’s Mart in Darwin on May 18, 2014 before traveling to JUTE in June, 2014. 

Bastard Territory was remounted in 2016 presented by Queensland Theatre Company, Knock-em-Down Theatre, Brown’s Mart and JUTE, opening in the Bille Brown Studio on April 6, 2016 before touring to the Ipswich Civic Centre and the Riverway Arts Centre, Townsville with the support of arTour. 

ISBN: 978 1 921390 97 5 

Also available in a discounted bundle with Motherland the QTC edition by Katherine Lyall-Watson

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Playlab is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland     



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