Australian Theatre

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Australian Theatre uses the dramatic form of realism and its conventions to expose underlying issues within the Australian culture. Set in the 1970’s, the context of the plays ‘The Removalists’ and ‘Norm and Ahmed’ by David Williamson and Alex Buzo, explore issues of racism, corruption and male aggression through the struggles of their characters.
Racism is an undercurrent that runs through the Australian 1970’s culture and is captured in Buzo’s Norm and Ahmed. Buzo uses two contrasting characters that are culturally different to reflect the intense racism within typical Australian culture. Norm is a representative of the ‘white Australian’ culture whilst Ahmed is a foreign student visiting from Pakistan. An ingrained racial prejudice is reflective in the abrasive behaviour of Norm and his three dimensional character. Norm is capable of showing both compassion and violence. The quote: “... if a copper ever started pushing me around, I’d job him good...” shows Norm’s violent side to his character but that is later juxtaposed by “...the policemen do a good job keeping all the drunks and pervs off the streets and making them safe for decent citizens”. The use of racial slurs in his natural vernacular language replicates Norm’s working class character that shows intolerance for different racial groups. “I floored this bloody Kraut” is an example of Norm’s vernacular language when mentioning almost killing a German. Whilst observing the scene where Norm says to Ahmed “You haven’t really got such a dark skin, have you?... You’ve got more of an olive complexion.” I found that the physical action of performed by my classmates of Norm gripping Ahmed’s face created a moment of tension which emphasized Norm’s power in the scene. This also shows the audience how Norm’s inner conflict moves between acceptance and racism as he attempts to search for similarities between the foreigner and himself.
Another example of Racism in this play is the final line. After Norm attacks

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