Platform Papers 39: The Retreat of Our National Drama


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.

  • 0
  • 0 total
  • Currency Press


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.

Purchase at Currency Press$18.99
SKU: CP-an10 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