A Cheery Soul

A Cheery Soul is a 1963 play by Australian writer Patrick White[1] set in the fictional Sydney suburb of Sarsaparilla at the end of the 1950s. White described it as being about "the destructive power of good." [2][3]

A Cheery Soul premiered at the Union Theatre Repertory Company in Melbourne in November 1963 directed by John Sumner, with Nita Pannell as the 'cheery soul' Miss Docker.

Other major productions have included:[4]

In popular cultureEdit

The play's chief character Miss Docker, as portrayed in 2018 by Sarah Peirse, was the subject of a portrait by Jude Rae, entered into the 2019 Archibald Prize. The artist had many sittings with the actor and has said of it: "Miss Docker's moments of isolation on stage also suggested a formal structure [for the painting] based on a famous 17th century portrait by Diego Velásquez of the actor Pablo de Valladolid, a buffoon in the court of King Phillip IV of Spain."[6] The artist also said: "perhaps this painting is something of an anti-portrait, a reminder that we are to some degree actors, projecting various versions of ourselves..."[6]


  1. ^ Meyrick, Julian. "The great Australian plays: A Cheery Soul gave us a supreme theatrical monster". The Conversation. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  2. ^ ""I stopped being flattered a long time ago": Jim Sharman". The Australian Women's Weekly. 46 (34). Australia, Australia. 24 January 1979. p. 9. Retrieved 16 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "Profound experience at 'A Cheery Soul'". The Canberra Times. 53 (15, 852). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 16 February 1979. p. 5 (TV RADIO GUIDE). Retrieved 16 August 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "AusStage". www.ausstage.edu.au. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Sydney Theatre Company - A Cheery Soul by Patrick White". Sydney Theatre Company. 2018.
  6. ^ a b Rae, Jude (September–October 2019). "Stage of life". Look Magazine (Art Gallery Society of New South Wales): 59.

External linksEdit