This volume shows a consolidation and maturing of Williamson’s style. Although he retains his satirical edge, there is a marked move from the domestic and personal dilemmas explored in the earlier plays to a focus on the public domain. Private desires and public issues are subtly compared and contrasted.
In The Department, a staff meeting of the Engineering Department in a College of Advanced Education is the setting for an acute dissection of the workings of bureaucracy and the absurd politicking needed to support it.
A Handful of Friends: Life in the film industry was never meant to be easy, but when a ruthless director makes his alcoholic friend the subject of his latest feature, tensions snap.
The Club, Williamson’s famous play about the uses and abuses of managerial power, foreshadowed the great changes that Australian football has since endured, and proves even more prescient since the rise and fall of Super League. This is a play set behind the scenes, a head-on tackle of brawn versus bureaucracy.
Travelling North is a moving homage to age and the old radicals who changed the course of our history. Soon after Frank and Frances desert their former lives for a northerly bohemian retreat, Frank’s mortality asserts itself.