No Incense Rising by George Landen Dann (1938)
Dann’s new play No Incense Rising had won first prize in the Sydney Independent Theatre’s national play competition in 1937 and premiered there in the same year, directed by Doris Fitton. Directed for Brisbane Repertory by Barbara Sisley, it was greeted as a “fine production” and an admirable successor to Dann’s first play In Beauty It Is Finished, by The Courier-Mail theatre critic (May 6, 1938). Set in an Australian coastal fishing town, the play tells the tragic story of a Norwegian widow whose husband was killed at sea, and her inability to let go of her eldest daughter – “It was a strong, virile play, with an almost Ibsenesque atmosphere of imponderable tragedy” (ibid.). The Telegraph critic, praising the acting and Dann’s “sincerity and courage” in not backing away from the truthfulness of “his tragic and beautifully expressed story” acknowledged how good it was “to hear the call of ‘author’ in a Brisbane theatre, and to see Mr. Dann stand up in his seat in the stalls to acknowledge the warm tribute of the audience” (6 May, 1938).
Writer: Christine Comans