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THE CULTURE

$5.40$15.00

The Culture is a topical, thought-provoking new work addressing issues of domestic violence, homophobia and street harassment in following dovetailing stories of two best friends; Will, who is gay and Katie, who is a young woman. The two struggle for equality as they search for love in a modern culture which deems them both to be inferior.

Katie is armed with little tricks to try to avoid the dangers of being a woman. Don’t walk down the street alone. Don’t walk home at night. Lock the car as soon as you get into it. Thread your keys through your fingers to punch an attacker. Beware of strangers. But when every week, on average, one Australian woman is killed by an intimate partner, does Katie have a hope of getting out unscathed?

Will’s acerbic wit and emotional distance are products of a life lived on the outside. It helps him keep an eye out for danger, in a world where heterosexuality is the epitome of masculinity and he isn’t. It’s not until he finds himself genuinely seeking a relationship that he starts to let down his guard. But is there a happily ever after for Will, when The Culture is waiting at every turn to destroy him?

Alternating between direct address monologues and scenes together, the play is a two-hander.

“THE CULTURE tackles the 3 themes head on, no apologies, no pussy footing or niceties. But once again Jackson has crafted a show which begins with fun and humour, almost imperceptively transmuting into to the despondency and sadness which we take with us from the theatre. There is no didacticism here and her previous work, HANDLE IT, showed the same lightness of touch in the scripting.” – Judith Greenaway, Sydney Arts Guide

  • two-hander, direct address monologues with duologues, interspersed with social media projections
  • 55
  • 2 total
  • 1 female identifying, 1 male identifying
  • lgbtqia+
  • 18+
  • teen, young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


  • MONOLOGUES
  • LINKS & DOWNLOADS
  • PRODUCTION HISTORY

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Katie

Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 16

EXTRACT: Can’t you just take it as a compliment?” If I have to have this argument one more time… In order for a compliment to work, the person you are complimenting has to FEEL complimented. A compliment is an exchange: I politely indicate my admiration, you feel complimented. When someone yells “Yeah baby”, “Oi jiggle tits…I saved you a seat, on my face“, “I’d fuck you in every orifice” – that is not an exchange. That is hurling an unsolicited comment at a stranger on the street completely for your own satisfaction.

Adult language, Adult themes

Will

Male | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 17

EXTRACT: The moment arrived. He was alone. I was alone. I approached. At first I thought he was kidding. Then I figured he was denying everything because he was too scared to be overhead. But soon, I realised it was neither. Either he was an incredible actor, or he had never had a single conversation with me online. He had no idea what I was talking about. But soon enough, he caught on. “You little faggot… are you fucking out of your mind?” Then his hand around my throat, and my head smacking into the wall behind me.

Adult language, Adult themes

Will

Male | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 8

EXTRACT: I read this article today, right? Basically, what happened was: they got a bunch of straight dudes and they started by asking them questions to find out how they felt about gay men. Things like, “if you saw two men kissing in public, how would you feel?” “Do you think that two men should be able to get married or adopt?” “Do you think homosexual relationships are natural?” You get it.

Adult language, Adult themes

Katie

Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 24

EXTRACT: I was at a music festival. Leaving the big tent. It’s always a shit fight getting out of those things, ‘cause there’s fifteen thousand people bottle-necked in the entrance. It was so hot. Everyone was sweaty and dragging off sodden clothing and half of us were down to our bikinis and skirts. I had my hands on the shoulders of my friend in front of me, trying not to get separated, because with that many people you’ll never find each other again. There were people pressed in on all sides so I didn’t think much when I felt a tug on my clothing at the back.

Adult language, Adult themes

Will

Male | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 28

EXTRACT: The night started off so well, there was this little awkward moment when I didn’t know whether to shake his hand, or hug him or just… get right in there, cause I feel like I already kind of know him, you know? He and I have been talking so much online, for weeks, every day… All day. And you know it’s huge for me to even be there in the first place. And in person, the connection, it’s better, we had so much to talk about it, so much we’d already talked about- he’s funny! And smart. And sexy!

Adult language, Adult themes

Katie

Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 20

EXTRACT: Come on, Kale. Where is this coming from? I know Will is kind of full on. But that’s just his way. What did he do? Did he ask if you’re circumcised? Oh fuck- Will! Sorry, look, he loves asking that. He likes to make friends through the shock tactics. (Light hearted) Kale. He wasn’t disrespecting you. That’s just Will trying to show you he likes you. Are you serious right now? Don’t call him that. Is that what this is actually about? Is this because he asked you a stupid question, or because he’s gay?

Adult language, Adult themes

Katie

Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 36

EXTRACT: I didn’t see it coming. I’ve read about this. But I didn’t see it coming. There were signs. Things I didn’t pick up at first. Things that he disguised as a charming infatuation with me. Acting out of concern for my safety. He was attentive, offering to drive me places, ordering my food at dinner. I thought it was romantic. He always had a hand on me, somewhere. I thought that was nice. That physical contact, that showed he was proud to be walking with me. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in love before.

Adult language, Adult themes

BRINGING SOCIAL STRUGGLES TO THE STAGE WITH NEW PLAY

JUSTIN HUNTSDALE, ABC, 8 SEPTEMBER 2015

Wollongong playwright Laura Jackson returns to the stage to explore the role of a friendship between two people struggling for equality in modern society. In her second play in two years, she looks at how much of the struggle is simply part of everyday life, or as she calls it, 'the culture'.

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