The Clown from Snowy River
“debase have mounted a tour de force …” — Douglas Leonard, RealTime, May 2006
The Clown from Snowy River is an energetic, hilarious exploration of the Australian national identity. The Swagman, inspired by his beloved Banjo Paterson, sets out to stage the history of Australia. His clown assistant Dazza, however, intends to shed new light on the past.
Together these two clowns (one Indigenous, one non-Indigenous) attempt to present the defining moments of Australian history, from Gallipoli to the Sydney Olympics, showcasing iconic Aussies from Ned Kelly to Kylie Minogue. Created with and for young people The Clown from Snowy River is an entertaining, engaging and timely examination of reconciliation and the meaning of ‘sorry.’
“Learning about our past is critical if we are to participate actively in our future. The Clown from Snowy River is one such teaching tool that gives students opportunities to learn about their past, not in any didactic way, but in such a way that they are intrigued and eager for more knowledge. This is a must-see show … especially for SOSE and Drama.”
— Sue Lawson, Arts Co-ordinator Years 7 to 12, Villanova College
The Clown from Snowy River has toured nationally. This touring production is an adaptation of the highly acclaimed 6 person production which premiered in 2006 and is published by Playlab Press. A DVD of the show with teachers resources and lesson plans is available direct from debase.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to view.
Written and devised by Bridget Boyle and Liz Skitch
Also co-devised with Jonathan Brand, Laurel Collins, Robert Kronk, Allen Laverty, Nadine Macdonald-Dowd and Mark Sheppard
Click the publication name to read the full review:
Realtime review, Premier Season 2006.
May 2006, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts, Fortitude Valley.
Two person version
Arts Council In-schools tour
Term 3, 2006, South East Queensland.
Term 1, 2007, Regional Queensland tour, Cairns to Brisbane.
Woodford Folk Festival, December 2007.
The Dreaming Festival, December 2008.
State Library of Queensland season, January 2009.
Queensland Theatre Company South West Queensland regional tour, (Charleville and Cunnamulla), 2009.
Sydney tour, November 2009.
Regional Arts Victoria Season, 17–28 May (Term 2) 2010.
The Clown from Snowy River is not currently available for tour.
Families and general public. Suitable for Years 7 to 12 (teaching resources, workshops & curriculum links available).
Running time: 50 minutes
Number in touring party: 2 artists
Bump in: 1 hour Bump out: 1 hour
Venue: Theatres, schools or community halls (indoor venue).
Critical issues: Sound system required.
Venue technical requirements: Stage size, 4 x 4 m.
Dressing room preferable but rest rooms are adequate. General wash if available otherwise no lighting required.
Marketing materials: High quality images available on request. Professionally shot DVD (full length performance + trailer + interviews and educational resources). Script publication.
Teaching resources available
To download The Clown from Snowy River Teachers’ Notes, please click the link below. The notes accompany The Clown from Snowy River Interactive Educational DVD Package.
PLEASE NOTE: You will need the access key (on the back of your DVD cover) to access the PDF content.
(Queensland) Indigenous Studies, Australian History, Physical Comedy, SOSE
(Victoria) Civics and Citizenship, Communication, English, Personal Learning, The Arts, The Humanities; History, Thinking Processes