A dinki-di Aussie musical by Jan McLean and Doug Williams.
Duration: 65 minutes. 26 principals. Provision for choruses of diggers, goldfields women, squatters, police, troopers and prisoners.

Written to suit performers from middle primary to early secondary.

Come a-Waltzing Matilda with the Swaggie, the Squatter, the Troopers & the Jumbuck, & learn the TRUE story behind Waltzing Matilda in this chaotic comedy of errors … the funniest wedding day in Australian history.

Detailed description


It’s dawn at a peaceful billabong (large pool of water in a treed area of the bush). A SWAGGY is lazily fishing. His peace is disturbed by the arrival of NUGGET and his digger mates. It’s NUGGET’s wedding day and the boys are here to dig a roasting pit for the feast. Ruthie and her bridesmaids appear and remind the boys that they have only 12 hours until the wedding. When they leave, NUGGET realises that they have not organised the food for the wedding feast. The SWAGGY suggests a method of ‘acquiring’ one of the SQUATTER’s sheep. Now, as sheep stealing is a hanging offence, they are nervous, but the SWAGGY assures them that the plan will work.

Meanwhile in the homestead, the SQUATTER is complaining to his WIFE about the number of diggers on his property, digging holes and blocking off the creek etc. He goes to his FOREMAN and the SHEARERS with a plan: they’ll push a sheep under the noses of the DIGGERS. If the DIGGERS take the sheep … they’ll be arrested by the TROOPERS. The TROOPERS will cooperate because the SQUATTER just happens to also be the District Judge …

When RUTHIE hears that the boys have gone to ‘acquire’ a sheep, she takes off after them.

The SQUATTER has assembled a SERGEANT and a group of bumbling TROOPERS. They place a SHEEP in the path of the DIGGERS, who are about to grab it when they see a TROOPER hiding in the bushes. They realise it’s a trap and try to push the SHEEP back onto the SQUATTER’s land. The SQUATTER has it pushed back to the DIGGERS and during the slapstick episode of pushing and pulling, RUTHIE and the BRIDESMAIDS arrive. In the confusion, the sheep ends up in the SWAGGY’s tuckerbag. He is, of course, arrested on the spot.

The DIGGERS and BRIDESMAIDS learn that the SWAGGY is to be hanged that afternoon and, though it’s their wedding day, NUGGET and RUTHIE agree that they must do something to help the SWAGGY.

In the jail, the PRISONERS are concerned at the imminent hanging, but the SWAGGY assures them that ‘she’ll be right’ and that something will turn up. THE DIGGERS arrive to break him out, but the SWAGGY has a better plan …

The trial is held at the billabong and the SWAGGY is convicted and sentenced to be hanged immediately. The SWAGGY cries out that he would rather drown in his own billabong than be hanged and dives in. NUGGET appears in a sheet, pretending to be the SWAGGY’s ghost, and scares off the SQUATTER and his cronies.

The wedding can finally go ahead and the SQUATTER’s WIFE appears with a wedding gift of … a sheep.

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