Adapted from the novel Tourmaline by Randolph Stow.
“We’ve got to the bare bones of the country, and I reckon we’re getting to the bones of ourselves. If the water comes, it’ll be when we’ve stopped needing it. We’re coming true.”
In the remote Australian outback, the once thriving gold mining settlement of Tourmaline languishes, forgotten. There is no gold. There is no water. Hope is fading, and a gradual tide of red desert sand threatens to bury the town. There are no children in Tourmaline and a whole generation has never seen rain.
When the desert delivers an unconscious, sun-scorched and near-dead man, the residents of Tourmaline take him in. Once recovered, the mysterious outsider introduces himself as Michael Random and claims he is a diviner who can find water and gold. Random becomes a messiah for the people of Tourmaline – but is his promise of salvation as much of a mirage as water in the desert?
Award-winning Canberra playwright Emma Gibson has adapted Randolph Stow’s 1963 novel, which explores our relationship with the Australian landscape.
A classic text adapted for radio and performed out loud, Tourmaline evokes the atmosphere of the outback and asks where salvation can be found.
Performed as a double bill with HG Well’s War of the Worlds.