Onkaparinga River by David Paul Jobling

I started out adapting a novel I read into a family play for the Christmas holiday period for Adelaide Theatre Group. Douglas Leonard was the Artistic Director and he really liked my idea of a kids play. I wanted to do one because I had been doing little things as an actor and really thought this novel I had read would make a fun play that adults and kids could enjoy together on their own level at the same time; so The Last Unicorn was my first little production.

Last-Unicorn copy
Sheridan Theatre

To me it seemed like a natural progression from acting in plays and working with puppets to having a go at writing and directing a play based on a ready made idea, the fantasy novel by Peter S. Beagle. 

The Last Unicorn at ATG  was a fun thing to do not least of all because Doug played my King Haggard, and we all had great adventure in the process. The ATG was an ensemble group the folk who were involved came from a diverse background. I was involved in productions of Struggle of the Naga Tribe and Rabelais also a production called To Die Among Friends. I was working for Bunyip Children’s Theatre and The Acting Company at the same time as being involved at ATG and doing extra work on television mini series’ whenever possible or available. I was determined to develop my abilities.

I came to write another play for kids Puppy Love with Bruce Keller. After this it was time for me to write Sssh! Unicorn and then Onkaparinga River and later Little Big Black Dog.


Onkaparinga River is the dearest to my heart because it was drawn from my life and my childhood and it concerned my thoughts. After puppets and muppets it felt natural to want to create work that was for kids and all of my work has involved elements on interaction. Interactivity has always been vitally important to me. I have always enjoyed process and ensemble work.

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Theatre of Instants 02

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