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Platform Papers 39  

The Retreat of our National Theatre

Platform Papers 39 $15.45 ex GST
$16.99 inc GST

A rising controversy has arisen regarding the repertoire of our national stages: a debate around a mainstage vogue for resetting familiar international classics in an Australian context and the playwrights who believe their work is being depreciated. Julian Meyrick believes the cause goes much deeper than the present quarrels. The adaptations issue, he writes, is a symbol of loss within the Australian dramatic consciousness. It is not about defending Tennessee Williams over David Williamson; but about the value of our national drama. Audiences no longer understand the difference between making a new play and buying an old one.

Something crucial has been lost, about our ability and need to nurture and produce original drama; and public policy has been a contributor. To remedy this, he concludes, we need a national theatre. Not a building or a company but a co-commissioning, co-production house that will address, seriously, the growth of our own classic repertoire.

Currency House | 978-0-98721-149-1 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB

Author

JULIAN MEYRICK was Associate Director / Literary Adviser of Melbourne Theatre Company and an Honorary Associate in the Drama Program at La Trobe University. He has directed numerous productions in Sydney and Melbourne, including the multi-award winning Who's Afraid of the Working Class? for the Melbourne Workers Theatre and Joe Penhall's Blue / Orange for MTC. In 1998 he won the Green Room Award for Best Director on the Fringe. He has taught at La Trobe and Newcastle Universities and written on performance theory and practice, arts policy and post-war Australian theatre.