Story: Plays and playwrights

The axe, 1948

The axe, 1948

Poet Allen Curnow's 1948 verse play The axe used the conventions of Greek drama to tell a story from 19th-century Polynesia. This photo shows its first production, by the Canterbury University College Drama Society. John Pocock, later a distinguished historian, both directed and appeared in this production. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Elizabeth Jaumaud Curnow Collection
Reference: 86-101-14-016
Photograph by Selwyn Davies

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Courtesy of Wystan Curnow

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How to cite this page:

Murray Edmond, 'Plays and playwrights - Plays of the mid- and later 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 January 2022)

Story by Murray Edmond, published 22 Oct 2014