'Away' by Michael Gow

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Michael Gow’s play Away is the story of three different Australian families who go on holiday for Christmas in the sixties. By going away each family is hoping to resolve their issues. Although Away is set some time ago the themes and issues explored in the play are still relevant to a modern day audience, even one of a non-Australian background. Shakespearean plays that were written many hundreds of years ago and are still understandable and relevant to people all over the world today.

Away is the story of three Australian families who go on holiday during the Christmas of 1968. Roy and Coral (the headmaster and his wife) are becoming increasingly close to breaking up. Their son was killed in the Vietnam War and Coral is still grieving for him. Tom and Meg were in the school’s production of A Midsummer’s Nights Dream. Tom has Leukaemia, and his parents, Harry and Vic, haven’t told him that he is going to die, but Tom has worked it out already. Tom and his family immigrated to Australia form England. They are going on holiday knowing that it could be their last together as a family, and are determined to have a good time. Meg is the same age as Tom and they both like each other. Meg’s parents, Gwen and Jim are going on holiday so Gwen can have a break. Gwen is a rather uptight and stressed person and thinks that to have anything good happen you have to make sacrifices. During each of the three families holidays there is a storm and they coincidently end up on the same beach.

Away by Michael Gow is set in suburban Australia in the summer of 1968. However the specific time and place do not make it any less relevant to me. I could still relate to and understand what was happening in the play, even though it is set in a time before I was born. This is very much like Shakespearean plays that were written hundreds of years ago, even today people can still connect with the characters in them. It is interesting to note that Gow begins Away with a Shakespearean...
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