Ray has written 25 plays, many of them one-act. His first play, A Blue Freckle, which he wrote and directed in Pentridge 1975, deals with the contentious issues of rape and police verbal. To get approval by prison authorities Ray claimed a blue freckle was a genesis of Antarctic penguin knowing the authorities would be too lazy to read the script. By the time they realised the ruse it was opening night and too late to cancel the play. A blue freckle is Ray’s terminology for the mark a bullet wound leaves on skin. The play received a degree of critical acclaim and resulted in Mooney enrolling in the drama school at the VCA. Ray

is a graduate of the first intake, Company 78.

A Blue Freckle (full length, 5 males 2 females)

A Blue Freckle was Mooney’s first play. He wrote and directed it in 1975 when he was the President of Player’s Anonymous, the drama group in A Division Pentridge. This was the first play written and performed by an inmate within a Victorian prison. At the time all theatre productions had to be approved by the prison administration and because the play dealt with rape and police verbal Mooney knew his chances of it being approved were slight. So, he titled it A Blue Freckle, instead of The Verbal, which he wanted to call it. Mooney told authorities a blue freckle was a genesis of Antarctic penguin and gambled on the authorities being too lazy to read the script. By the time they realised the ruse it was too late to cancel the play.

A Blue Freckle is Mooney’s terminology for the mark a bullet wound leaves on skin. The play received a degree of critical acclaim and resulted in Mooney being invited by the Dean of the newly formed Drama School of The Victorian College of The Arts, Peter Oyston, to apply for the drama school on release. He applied in 1975 and was selected as one of two directors in 1976. Mooney was a graduate of that first intake, Company 78. During his time as a drama student, he established and ran Governors Pleasure, a theatre company consisting mainly of ex-prisoners.

The play was substantially rewritten in 1990 and performed at the Carlton Courthouse.

Browse materials

Everynight Everynight 

EverynightEverynight was written and directed in 1977 while Mooney was in his second year at the VCA. He resurrected the burnt-out shell of St Martin’s Theatre in South Yarrafor the production. The play was based on the experiences of his prison friend  Christopher Dale Flannery, aka Rentakill, who was ferociously assaulted in H Division, the punishment Division of Pentridge, when he was 18. Mooney also spent 4 months in H Division, for acting as a spokesperson during riots.

Browse materials

Angel of the Graveyard

Mooney’s 3rd play, Angel of the Graveyard, written in 1978, was performed at The Pram Factory. A two-hander for two females, it stared Mooney’s then wife, Judith Ferrier, a 3rd year drama student at the VCA. The play

dealt with schizophrenia and the use of electro convulsive therapy as a treatment. At the time authorities claimed ECT wasn’t used as a treatment for schizophrenia. Mooney researched the play by posing as a psychiatrist and roaming the grounds of Royal Park Psychiatric Institution, interviewing patients and staff. In 1991 Mooney rewrote it for for 4 female actors. It was directed by Kate Cherry at The Carlton Courthouse in 1991. Mooney later directed the play with a cast from ZAP Theatre, also at The Carlton Courthouse.

Browse materials

A Final Siren

In 1981 West Community Theatre produced A Final Siren, a monologue Mooney wrote about the final address by a coach to his players at the start of and during their first grand final. It was performed by Phil Sumner, who appeared in many of Mooney’s plays, and travelled to numerous local football clubs in The Essendon and District League.

Browse materials

The Dominator

This was the play that shocked many theatregoers and established Mooney as a genuine subversive writer in 1983. The Dominator was a monologue given by a survivor of brutal boys’ homes; a sexual abuse survivor who trusted only his motor bike but was betrayed even by his bike when an electric vagina he attached to it short circuited and fried him on stage.

Browse materials

Autobiography of an Extra

Autobiography of an Extra had its first showing in 1983 and was co-written by his then wife, Judith Ferrier. It was originally play read at The Stables by Sydney Theatre Company, but instantly dismissed when the STC director, Richard Wherrett, wrongfully assumed it was about him. It was performed at La Mama the same year, directed by Maud Clark.

Browse materials

Hard Labour, Mate

1983 was a busy year as Mooney co-wrote Hard Labour, Mate with his close friend and director of the show, Peter Oyston. This was a satirical send-up of Australia’s convict heritage. It was produced by WEST Community Theatre and the first live performance to be staged at The Old Melbourne Jail.

Browse materials

A Blue Freckle

A Blue Freckle was Mooney’s first play. He wrote and directed it in 1975 when he was the President of Player’s Anonymous, the drama group in A Division Pentridge. This was the first play written and performed by an inmate within a Victorian prison. At the time all theatre productions had to be approved by the prison administration and because the play dealt with rape and police verbal Mooney knew his chances of it being approved were slight. So, he titled it A Blue Freckle, instead of The Verbal, which he wanted to call it. Mooney told authorities a blue freckle was a genesis of Antarctic penguin and gambled on the authorities being too lazy to read the script. By the time they realised the ruse it was too late to cancel the play.

A Blue Freckle is Mooney’s terminology for the mark a bullet wound leaves on skin. The play received a degree of critical acclaim and resulted in Mooney being invited by the Dean of the newly formed Drama School of The Victorian College of The Arts, Peter Oyston, to apply for the drama school on release. He applied in 1975 and was selected as one of two directors in 1976. Mooney was a graduate of that first intake, Company 78. During his time as a drama student, he established and ran Governors Pleasure, a theatre company consisting mainly of ex-prisoners.

The play was substantially rewritten in 1990 and performed at the Carlton Courthouse.

Reviews

Everynight Everynight

Everynight Everynight was written and directed in 1977 while Mooney was in his second year at the VCA. He resurrected the burnt-out shell of St Martin’s Theatre in South Yarra for the production. The play was based on the experiences of his prison friend  Christopher Dale Flannery, aka Rentakill, who was ferociously assaulted in H Division, the punishment Division of Pentridge, when he was 18. Mooney also spent 4 months in H Division, for acting as a spokesperson during riots.

The play achieved media notoriety when prisoners in H Division rioted to coincide with the opening, and ‘Ban The Bash’ was graffitied all around Melbourne, including the steps of Parliament House. It played to packed houses the next year at The Pram Factory and has been staged numerous times, including having a sell-out season at The Adelaide Arts Festival. Its most recent revival was by Frank Theatre at Gasworks, 2012, organised by the late Dame Hill.

In 1994 Alkinos Tsilimidos, a graduate of the VCA Film School, on a budget of $28,000, adapted it to film. It was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and best Director and has achieved genuine cult status in the film industry.

Reviews

Angel of the Graveyard

Mooney’s 3rd play, Angel of the Graveyard, written in 1978, was performed at The Pram Factory. A two-hander for two females, it stared Mooney’s then wife, Judith Ferrier, a 3rd year drama student at the VCA. The play
dealt with schizophrenia and the use of electro convulsive therapy as a treatment. At the time authorities claimed ECT wasn’t used as a treatment for schizophrenia. Mooney researched the play by posing as a psychiatrist and roaming the grounds of Royal Park Psychiatric Institution, interviewing patients and staff. In 1991 Mooney rewrote it for for 4 female actors. It was directed by Kate Cherry at The Carlton Courthouse in 1991. Mooney later directed the play with a cast from ZAP Theatre, also at The Carlton Courthouse.

Zap Theatre and Review
Script

A Final Siren

In 1981 West Community Theatre produced A Final Siren, a monologue Mooney wrote about the final address by a coach to his players at the start of and during their first grand final. It was performed by Phil Sumner, who appeared in many of Mooney’s plays, and travelled to numerous local football clubs in The Essendon and District League.

The Dominator

This was the play that shocked many theatregoers and established Mooney as a genuine subversive writer in 1983. The Dominator was a monologue given by a survivor of brutal boys’ homes; a sexual abuse survivor who trusted only his motor bike but was betrayed even by his bike when an electric vagina he attached to it short circuited and fried him on stage. The Dominator was performed in pubs, universities, ‘anywhere you could ride a motor bike on stage’. It developed authentic cult status. The first production was performed by Bruno Borgetto at La Mama and later by John Brumpton, another excellent actor who would be involved in many of Mooney’s plays. Two versions of the play are presented, the original and a rewrite for television that was funded but terrified the producers and was never filmed.

Script

Autobiography of an Extra

Autobiography of an Extra had its first showing in 1983 and was co-written by his then wife, Judith Ferrier. It was originally play read at The Stables by Sydney Theatre Company, but instantly dismissed when the STC director, Richard Wherrett, wrongfully assumed it was about him. It was performed at La Mama the same year, directed by Maud Clark.

Hard Labour, Mate

1983 was a busy year as Mooney co-wrote Hard Labour, Mate with his close friend and director of the show, Peter Oyston. This was a satirical send-up of Australia’s convict heritage. It was produced by WEST Community Theatre and the first live performance to be staged at The Old Melbourne Jail. It upset a few of the heritage folk when the production re-hung Ned Kelly using the original beam which had been transferred from Pentridge to The Old Melbourne Jail. Here is the working script in two parts. It was workshopped by the cast who had an important input into the final version

Program
Script Pt 1
Script Pt 2

The Boy from Bearbrass

Melbourne’s Herring Island was the venue for the Melbourne Writer’s Theatre production of Mooney’s The Boy from Bearbrass. It was one of 5 one-act plays each set in various locations on Herring Island. Mooney took the mickey out of John Batman, the founder of Melbourne, by having a female actor portray Batman as a used car salesman who duped the Indigenous Australians by buying thousands of square miles of their land for a pittance.

The Cat From Across The Road

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre also produced The Cat From Across the Road at the Athenaeum Theatre. A transvestite prostitute lives in a back lane and must endure a torturous ‘warm-up’ before she can ply her trade each night.

Script

Black Rabbit

Black Rabbit was perhaps Mooney’s best-known play. It premiered at Playbox (in the Arts Centre) in 1988 as part of the bicentennial to high acclaim and was directed by Peter Oyston. The play explored the injustice of European settlement towards Indigenous Australians. It starred David Bradshaw, Matt Day, Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie and Kylie Belling.

Reviews
Script

Pundulumura

Mooney continued the theme of white injustice towards Australia’s indigenous peoples in Pundulumura (co-written with Joe Dolce and Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie) at La Mama in 1990. Mooney directed this play at La Mama and numerous venues around Melbourne. It was also part of the Sydney Theatre Festival with a season upstairs at Belvoir. Two buskers musically confront each other over who has the right to their performance space. It was rewritten to include Lin Van Hek and Gnarnayarrahe’s wife Ponjydfljydunyfleu.

Reviews

Sideshow Alley

In 1992 Mooney wrote Sideshow Alley, a boisterous romp through the sideshow alley cons and boxing tents of the past, for ZAP Community Theatre. Mooney established ZAP with playwright Rhonda Johnston for marginalised kids in West Heidelberg. Sideshow Alley had a successful season at St Martin’s Youth Theatre, South Yarra.

Review
Program
Script

All Aboard

All Aboard was part of a one-act play season produced by Chameleon Theatre. It explored the way travellers form relationships on short trips and how prejudices sometimes allow them to make rash judgments and was performed at St Martin’s Youth Theatre, South Yarra.

Script

The Truth Game

In 1997 The Truth Game, based on the Walsh Street killings, opened to critical acclaim at the Carlton Courthouse. It explored the theme that after Walsh Street police and criminals were at war with each other, with both sides ruthlessly crossing the line of acceptable behaviour. It documented police charging two people they knew to be innocent and pressuring witnesses to give false and adverse evidence to secure convictions. It was directed by close friend Daniel Lillford and had a stellar cast including John Brumpton, Helen and Kevin Hopkins, Tania Lacy, Michael Burkett, Peter Docker, Peter Spruce, Jim Shaw and Kevin Linton-Smith

Script
Poster and Article

The Drover’s Boy

In 1998 The Drover’s Boy premiered at the Athenaeum and was also on the school syllabus. It revealed how early last century drovers sometimes coerced Indigenous Australian girls into dressing as boys so they could accompany the drover as their concubine. The play highlighted the notion that this was widely known by Europeans but they choose to pretend otherwise. It was directed by Greg Carroll and stared John Brumpton, Jim Daley Pauline Whyman and the author’s son, Wilde Mooney. An eerie soundscape by Joe Dolce accompanied the play.

Reviews
Script
Program

The Sinbin

In 2001 The Sinbin was staged at The Carlton Courthouse. It’s the last training night before the grand final for St Joey’s and the club president has banned wives and girlfriends from the after-training entertainment. However, everything that can go wrong does and the night ends in total chaos. “It was immensely enjoyable, except for wowsers, and deeply meaningful as it explored loyalty and betrayal at its most primal level.’ Peter Oyson directed and the cast included John Brumpton, John Flaus, Jason Buckley, Sid Brisbane, Stephen Yates, Andrew Spyros, Cliff Ellen, Wilde Mooney, Verity McIntyre, Katie Reilly and Neil Piggot.

Script
Poster

Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion

This is one of the few plays Mooney wrote that he never wanted produced so never gave it to anyone for production. It’s about Andrew Bolt and was written in response to an article Bolt wrote on Mooney. It concerns the civil suit brought against Bolt by Jelena Popovic, the Chief Magistrate.

Script

Control Alt Delete

This one-act play was part of season of short plays: School – The Irreverent Reveries performed at The Carlton Courthouse in 2002. Directed by Sue Pilbeam and staring Rob Kelty and Sally Kennedy. Control Alt Delete is an absurd examination of paedophilia played out by a schoolgirl, her boyfriend and a cop in an abandoned warehouse utilizing outrageous dance and music.

Script – Alternative Title: School’s Out

Cock-a-doodle-do

In 2003 Cock-a-doodle-do was part of a season of short plays: Infidelity at The Carlton Courthouse. Directed by Efisia Fele and starring Adrian Dart and Lisa Cugnetto it is trial by computer, an absurd examination of a court case where prosecutor and defence argue over a defendant’s right to kill in a programmed computer game.

Script

Knockabouts

Knockabouts was a season of one-act plays, written and directed by Ray. It comprised The Boy From Bearbrass with Chris Barry (Everynight Everynight, A Blue Freckle), The Cat from across the Road with Jim Daly (Everynight Everynight, A Blue Freckle, The Drover’s Boy and The Dominator with John Brumpton (Everynight Everynight, The Sinbin, The Drover’s Boy). Each play had been rewritten.

Reviews
Cast Photo and Program

Mouth of the Dog

In 2003 Mouth of the Dog premiered at The Carlton Courthouse. This is arguable Mooney’s most outrageous play. Four mental patients are encouraged to undergo a workshop by a do-gooding counsellor who requires them to take on the roles of Hitler, Pol Pot, Gadaffi and John Howard. It was extreme political satire,’ more dangerous than a suicide bomber at a health and safety conference’.
Directed by the talented Efesia Fele it starred Adrian Dart, Lisa Cugnetto, Kael Foster, Jason Buckley and Delene Butland.

Article
Script

Tall Poppies

Mooney is currently writing a play about the conflict between Australian athletic coaches of last century Percy Cerutty and Franz Stampfl and the introduction of steroids into Australian sport.