Jack’s next production was BRAIN-ROT, subtitled an Evening of Pathology and Violence, Love and Friendship, again at the University of Melbourne, in1968. It contained short plays such as Who? and One of Nature’s Gentlemen, dramatic and comic attacks on mateship, and very short works called ‘micro-plays’. As well there sat a short opera Jack Juan, composed by the late Stuart Challender. In this the three exploited women in Mozart’s Don Giovanni torment, punish, the Don, who hasn’t gone down to Hell. More female revenge.
The directors (Graeme Blundell, Kendall) and some of the actors from this season went on to found The La Mama Company at La Mama theatre in nearby Carlton. This group subsequently became The Australian Performing Group, which moved around the corner tothe much larger Pram Factory.
The first play presented at La Mama was Jack’s Three Old Friends – a micro-play, which hasbeen done every decade since 1968 at La Mama. All these plays, and some other short ones, were published in a volume named SQUIBS (Phoenix Publications, Brisbane, 1984). The other plays include satires of Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Swifts’s A Modest Proposal is thrust into the 20th century. As well there are political pieces (Vietnam etc.) and revue sketches.
“ It was at La Mama that I first saw the work of Jack Hibberd, a writer of sinister Pintaresque persuasion, and potentially a great talent.”
- Phillip Adams (Vogue, 1968)