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'Without access to history the growth of our theatre is inhibited. For while an absence of tradition can be liberating, it can also be wasteful as each generation earnestly sets out about re-inventing the wheel.'
- Jim Sharman
Rex Cramphorn was one of the key theatre practitioners to come out of the renaissance of Australian theatre in the 1960s and ‘70s. When Cramphorn died in 1991 at the age of 50, he left a legacy of theatre productions, research and ideas, that have influenced his own and subsequent generations of Australian theatre artists.
A Raffish Experiment, Ian Maxwell presents an eclectic collection of Rex Cramphorn’s writing, including theatre reviews for the Bulletin and the Sunday Australian, self-assessments, production diaries, essays and proposals, working notes for actors and selections from surviving correspondence.
Each chapter is framed by a short essay contextualising the material biographically, historically and culturally. The collection offers not only valuable—and unique—insights into a significant theatre practitioner as he wrestled with his craft, but a contribution to the historiography of Australian theatre, from a practitioner’s point of view, through a formative period of that history.
With a preface by David Malouf.
Currency Press | 978-0-86819-818-7 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ian Maxwell is a trained theatre director, academic and teacher. He has published extensively on a range of topics related to Performance Studies. He trained at the VCA and worked with Rex Cramphorn in 1991, shortly before Cramphorn’s death. He has read the archive in its entirety, and recently published an essay on Cramphorn’s work in the collection
Fifty Key Theatre Directors (published by Routledge).