Through the life of the controversial poet James McAuley, Because explores how individuals struggle - and often fail - to discover who they are and what they believe in. A chief focus is McAuley's attempt to undermine modern poetry by his invention of Ern Malley. The play traces the effect on those who were duped, as well as raising questions about the nature of poetic inspiration. The other contentious events of McAuley's public life are played against the backdrop of his fanatical support for Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war. In line with its concerns about truth, Because also questions how factual any portrayal can be of a well-known person who has recently died. (Because was chosen for ABC FM's series The Stage of the Nation , a selection of plays from around Australia).

  • drama
  • 90
  • 3 total
  • 1 female identifying, 2 male identifying
  • history
  • 18+
  • adult, teen
  • Australian Script Centre


Search for details of past productions at

AusStage provides an accessible research facility for investigating live performance in Australia.

Search by play title and/or playwright name
Results will open in a new window

PLEASE NOTE: You will be directed to for search results; Australian Plays Transform is not responsible for their completeness. Refer to our terms of use.

SKU: ASC-157 Category:

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024