Publication Details

This article was originally published as McHugh, SA, Minefields and Miniskirts: the perils and pleasures of adapting oral history for the stage, Oral History Association of Australia Journal, 28, 2006, 22-29.


A case study of the adaptation of the author's non-fiction book, Minefields and Miniskirts, for the stage. The book, about Australian women's role in the Vietnam war, is based on oral history interviews with over 30 women. Their actual words make up 90% of the script for the dramatised version, also called Minefields and Miniskirts, but their interviews have been blended to make 5 composite fictionalised characters. The show, created by director Terence O'Connell based on McHugh's book, toured Australia to acclaim in 2004/5, playing to over 50,000 people. The author attended the Sydney opening night with 8 of the 'real' women. This article analyses what was gained and lost in the process of dramatisation.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Oral History Association of Australia