It was the 7.57 on the Upfield line. The 8.02 on the Mernda line. The 6.22 on the Craigieburn … face to face, groin to bum, armpit to armpit. On the morning commute.
A single mother struggles with her hyperactive child, a young man exerts control over his girlfriend, a cleaner is begged for help by her former boss, a convenience store worker returns for vengeance, three siblings thrash out racial and ideological battle lines, an elderly couple remember their own war of resistance. All the while busker Charity demands the passengers pay up, pay up.
As the stories intersect, the characters collide with each other and tear apart, or pull towards another in yearning and loneliness. A simmering conflict keeps us on our toes, and the train moves us inexorably forwards.
Two decades after their seminal work, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irine Vela reunite for a new take on class and the politics of marginalisation. Anthem registers the pulse of the nation in a country unable to reconcile its past and uncertain of its future. With no easy answers, it asks the urgent question of who we are now — does Australia really sing with one voice?
‘An ambitious, energetic and remarkable play’—The Guardian
‘Gripping and intoxicating’—Time Out
‘Anthem is powerful and important theatre that should inspire reflection on how Australia became so polarised.’—The Age