Understanding Australian Plays

Topics: Culture of Australia, Drama, The Removalists Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: May 16, 2014
How does the staging of Australian plays help us gain a better understanding of ourselves and our different cultural and social contexts? The staging of Australian Drama and Theatre allows an enhanced understanding of ourselves and our different cultural and social contexts. Dorothy Hewett’s (1972) play, The Chapel Perilous and David Williamson’s (1971) play The Removalists both reveal sometimes disturbing social and cultural contexts within Australian society of the time of the play’s production. While either playwright adopts quite different staging techniques, both plays focus on the nature and misuse of authority, as well as personal freedoms, violence and gender inequality, thus creating insight into our society. David Williamson’s (1971) play, The Removalists, exemplifies Australian social and cultural context in the 1970’s through the range of characters, their motives and individuality. The play recognises the bottled-up aggression, authoritarianism, sexism and corruption inside Australian society during the 1970’s and uses that to give audiences an understanding of our own society and culture. The heavy focus on gender inequality and corruption in society and the workplace, laying greatly on the relationships between Kenny and Fiona, as well as Simmonds and Fiona and Kate, underlines the basis of society during this time and is shown through multiple scenes through the play. The rough and authoritative performance style of the men, with the contrast of the weak and obedient performance style of the women, shows the cultural and social context within Australian relationships and individuality. The need to be the ‘stronger male’ and the more authoritative man is expressed through violence and aggression which is another Australian cultural factor. The Removalists uses a realistic style of dramatic form to adopt Australian culture and society. Particular scenes in The Removalists allow us to gain a better understanding of ourselves as Australian people...
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