2012 Back To The Old Selection

posterimageSteele Rudd’s

adapted by Richard Fotheringham
directed by Lis Shelley
musical director Christina Mimmocchi

An Australian classic for all ages…

Staged between 25 February and 10 March 2012, at the Cobargo Folk Festival, Pambula Town Hall and Candelo Town Hall.


It’s 1886 in a bark hut on the Darling Downs.Things are dire for the Rudd family, the drought is biting and the bills are mounting up. Will Dad find a way of paying the bills? Will the bear industry save their bacon? Will Sarah find true love? Will Joe ever learn? Will the mystery of the Rudd’s adopted son be solved? Will it rain by Christmas?


Steele Rudd is the pen name of Arthur Hoey Davis. Davis grew up in a bark hut near Toowoomba and in the late 1890s, penning the stories that would later be published as On Our Selection and Our New Selection, the basis for a play he later wrote called “In Australia, or The Old Selection”. The play lay unperformed in the national archives until it was discovered in 1986 by Queensland playwright, Richard Fotheringham, and his adaptation was performed in the 1980s by various professional theatre companies as “The Old Selection”.

Fotheringham returned the name of “Rudd” to the beloved family characters in his latest 1996 adaptation of the play, and it is this adaptation that we are performing, under the name “Back To The Old Selection”.

This play is not the same as “On Our Selection” or the contrived “Dad and Dave” stories that stemmed from Bert Bailey’s and others’ treatment of Rudd’s characters.

It is much more sympathetic to the down-to-earth characters that Rudd wrote about in his original unstaged adaptation “In Australia, or The Old Selection”.

Cast & Crew

Director Lis Shelley
Musical Director Christina Mimmocchi



  • JOSEPH RUDD (Dad) – Karl Auer
  • MRS ELLEN RUDD – Fiona Boyd
  • DAVE RUDD, their elder son – Jesse Tankard
  • SARAH RUDD, (‘Sal’) their daughter – Georgia Mayer
  • JOE RUDD, their younger son – Cooper Yeoman
  • AUNT MAG, DAD’s sister – Kerry Hynes
  • JUNE (JUNIUS) CHURCHILL, an orphan – Elijah Mortlock
  • DAN DIEHARD, an old neighbour – Robert Buck
  • WINNIE DIEHARD, his daughter – Jessica High
  • SKINNY McGAHN, a stock and station agent – Blake Young
  • STEVE CHURCHILL, an English ‘remittance man’ – Jesse Tankard
  • ANNIE BRAY, a widow – Angie Dobson
  • JOHN LOLLIGAN, the local storekeeper – Peter O’Brien

Musicians (COBARGO SHOW)

  • Trev Dunham – bass
  • Chris Wheeler – whistles/flute/voice
  • Jo Creswell – concertina
  • Christina Mimmocchi – guitar/voice


  • Courtesy of Mike Martin: from the album “Jindi Play Joe”


  • Stage Manager – Thelma Went
  • Sets & Props – Phil Cheek and Judy Roberson
  • Costumes – Robyn Whitby
  • Lighting – Karl Auer & Anna Auer
  • Sound – Lis Shelley
  • Publicity – Mary-Ellen Turbet
  • Front of House – Nancy Richards, Kay Brown, Louise Yeoman, Lynne Cheek, Wilma Donovan, Judy Roberson