Plays of the 60s: Volume 3


In the late 1960s, student revolution spread like wildfire around the world as the post-war generation came to adulthood. In Australia, protests against the Vietnam War were mixed with a rebellious new political awareness.

The plays in this volume reflect the radicalism in public and private life which that period has come to represent. Each of these works was significant in advancing the horizons of the Australian stage and creating the climate which in 1968 won support for an indigenous theatre, and in 1972 the defeat of conservative government.

The volume contains:

A Refined Look at Existence
by Rodney Milgate

An ironic comedy drama which reworks Euripides’ The Bacchae, set in a NSW country town. Daring in form, this was possibly the earliest play to capture the emotional turbulence that characterised the 1960s.

Chicago, Chicago
by John Romeril

This play reflects the rebellious new political awareness that spread during the tumultuous years of the late 1960s.

Burke's Company
by Bill Reed

Burke's Company is a 'play of disillusion', writes Katharine Brisbane, which looks at 'the blindness of European exploiters like Robert O'Hara Burke who failed to manage his company or listen to their voices; and refused to acknowledge the Aborigines' offers of salvation. Burke's dream is to conquer the land, by traversing it from south to north. He wants their exploits gloriously recorded in Wills' writings. A play about class—in this case the moneyed class - for whom discipline is a tool of survival not always placed in the safest hands.'

The Front Room Boys
by Alex Buzo

An early play of Alex Buzo which dramatises the predicament of office workers as it displays the author's preoccupation with language. One of his aims, he tells us in his playwright's note, 'was to recreate the rhythms of actual speech as well as to record and preserve the vivid expressions which you could hear everywhere except in the media or on the stage.'

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