Comparative Analysis of 'Blackrock" - Nick Enright and "Blurred" Stephen Davis (which play best represents the values/attitudes and beleifs of Australian youth culture)

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The first of two plays that has been considered for selection in upcoming International Theatre for Young People's Festival soon to be held in Vancouver, Canada is "Blackrock" by the late Nick Enright. The plays must represent the values, attitudes and beliefs of today's Australian Youth Culture. "Blackrock" explores the strength of mateship, the importance of image and the dangers of peer pressure, parties and underage drinking. The second play is the popular "Blurred" by the playwright Stephen Davis; which offers a comedic and clever representation of perhaps the most famous Australian youth orientated rite of passage, "Schoolies". Both of these plays portray representations of the highest calibre of Australian youth culture. Both initially play to Australian stereotypes and colloquialism but as interrelationships develop audiences are invited to gain insight into the youth culture and the society which they represent. The thematic relevance, human context, dramatic form and language of the plays contents relates directly to the Festivals rationale and are unique to Australia. The rationale of the Festival is in place to allow young people to explore their own ideas and experiences within the world that they live and give the opportunity to explore and dramatize larger issues of justice and injustice which they as youth may often feel powerless to influence, and to allow youth to expand their horizons - to move beyond their won experience of the world and to inhabit different personae and different societies.

"Blackrock" is a play based in a coastal town and is based on events prior to and immediately following the violent murder of the character, Tracy Warner. This occurrence pushes relationships to their limits and raises issues of injustice. The theme of "Blackrock" offers insight into the Australian 'Surfie' culture whereby all characters are in someway affiliated with surfing or the beach. Teenage rebellion against societal norms and conformity is also apparent. It can be seen in the play that as a result of these rebellious actions, the careless acts undertaken whilst under the influence of alcohol can have devastating consequences. Blackrock also raises the issue of to what extent do you back up your mate? How strong is the concept of mateship? Also the importance of image, image is something individual youth pride themselves on, to have an image that entails popularity and to be relatively well liked is a high priority for many teenagers around the globe.

The types of characters involved in "Blackrock" unfortunately don't give a true representation of all Australian youth; as they lack ambition and goals and show little to no respect to their elders, parents or the authorities. The male youths also seem somewhat apathetic in relation to life and living in relation to the murder of Tracey Warner. However Blackrock does offer a true representation of mateship and how one would act under immense pressure. The world believes, due to the fact that the media have depicted, that Australia's regardless of age share the trait of grace under pressure, Enright sheds new light on this stereotypically Australian trait through dramatic form, language and human context keeping in the theme of realism.

The relationship between Jared and Ricko explores in great depth the theme of mateship. In doing so the interrelationship formed invites international audiences to view what this aspect of Australian Youth Culture is inherit of. As the play develops, audiences become aware of the fact that it was indeed Ricko that in a fit of rage murdered Tracey Warner, then turns to his best mate for help. Ricko asks what many may view as unfair, for Jared to lie to the authorities. Unbeknownst to Ricko, Jared witnessed the murder in all its bloody veracity. Jared is then faced with the moral dilemma of sticking by his mate, and conceding to audiences that mateship is a powerful force apparent in Australian Youth Culture, or turn to the...
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