Fountains Beyond (1947)
By the time Brisbane Repertory produced Dann’s Fountains Beyond in 1947, directed by Clare Clarke, he was an established playwright. The Telegraph critic wrote:
Mr Dann’s work both in concept and technique, has matured considerably since his first play In Beauty It Is Finished, but his interest in the aboriginal problem remains as deep. This is a compassionate study, simply written and with authentic native atmosphere. It was also very well acted and the diction of the players clearer than in any recent production. … the audience was one of the most receptive the Rep Soc has ever had. (March 27, 1947)
Many of his plays (he wrote 40 in total) had already been produced throughout Australia by little theatre groups, especially within the New Theatre movement, as well as on radio and overseas. In a not unusual trend in little theatres and repertory societies, Brisbane Repertory took a keen interest and pride in promoting their local playwright, as evidenced in the program notes for Fountains Beyond:
Of the number of full-length Australian plays presented by the Brisbane Repertory Theatre, no less than four … have been written by George Dann, the Queensland Playwright. With the inclusion of some of his one act plays, it is perhaps unique in the “world” of Australian Drama, and certainly encouraging to local talent, in that so many works by the same writer have been presented by the one theatre.
The close artistic relationship Brisbane Repertory had with such a fine playwright as George Landen Dann was principally facilitated though Barbara Sisley’s mentorship and Professor Stable’s support for Queensland writing. Nominated a Life Member of Brisbane Repertory, Dann was a dynamic presence on its Council for many years. He died in 1977, shortly after he had attended a La Boite revival of In Beauty It Is Finished. In recent years, his contribution to Australian drama was honoured through a Queensland Theatre Company’s playwriting competition named after him.
Writer: Christine Comans