The Culture


Katie and Will are best friends, podcast hosts, woke and very single. Set in Sydney Australia, The Culture tackles heavy issues with a light touch, using the warmth and intimate banter between two best friends. Audiences are welcomed into Will and Katie’s living room and into an important wider conversation. Through the seemingly light hearted lenses of social media and friendship, The Culture examines the search for love in the modern world and considers how dangerous it can really be for a gay man and a woman. Is their friendship enough to keep them safe?

Critically acclaimed in New York, the production was praised for being "A spunky, fast-talking, take no prisoners twosome…Wonderful, timely, and poignant." (The Front Row Centre, NYC)

  • two-hander, direct address monologues with duologues, interspersed with social media projections
  • 76
  • 2 total
  • 1 female identifying, 1 male identifying
  • resilience, lgbtqia+, friendship, domestic violence
  • 18+
  • teen, young adult, adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 66

EXTRACT: I went to this gender studies class once, third year Uni... maybe? First the lecturer asked all the men, “what do you do when you’re walking down the street, to keep yourselves safe?” The men looked around, a bit bemused, and then one brave guy kind of squared his shoulders and said: “This is ah, probably the wrong the answer, but um... nothing mate.” The men all laughed a bit uncomfortably, and then the lecturer went to the whiteboard, and said “all right ladies, what do you do when you’re walking down the street to keep yourselves safe?” The answers started coming too quick to write them up. So many little tricks to try to avoid the dangers of being a woman. Don’t walk down the street alone. Lock the car as soon as you get into it. Thread your keys through your fingers to punch an attacker. Don’t let your phone go flat in case you end up in someone’s boot. There were so many things that the whiteboard was full and we had to stop. The group looked up and fell silent. The men couldn’t imagine feeling so unsafe that these kinds of precautions were necessary. Then she (oh you assumed the lecturer was a man?) Then she asked the women, “What do you do to keep yourselves safe in your own home?” “What do you do to keep yourselves safe in your own home?” There was this shocked silence as we all stared at the lecturer. And then she rubbed off all our tricks for keeping ourselves safe in the street... safe from strangers... and she wrote – I’ll never forget it – in big letters across the whiteboard. “In Australia, intimate partner violence is the number one, non disease related cause of death, disability or illness of women between the ages of fifteen and forty four.”

Adult language, Adult themes


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


Male | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 67

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. Based on their answers, the men were split into two groups: the homophobic and the... not homophobic. The two groups were then shown different kinds of porn; straight porn, lesbian porn and gay porn, during which they had a device attached to their penis; which measured their arousal. Want to know what’s fucked? Both groups showed an increase in the sizes of their dicks when watching the straight porn and the lesbian porn, but ONLY the homophobic group showed results when the gay porn was on. Did you get that? The ones who make my life utter hell. They were the ones whose cocks got harder when they watched two men fucking. And you know, part of me is not surprised. I mean, I’ve seen American Beauty with the super aggressive dad who macks onto the Kevin Spacey. We’ve all seen it. But what? I’ve been bashed my whole life, because they all secretly want to fuck me? Wow. I feel so much better

Adult language, Adult themes


Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 68

EXTRACT: We left Alibi, to see if Mirage was open? The cowboy shots were doing most of the thinking for me, my brain was still slumped on a bar stool in Alibi. And when we got halfway down Hollow St, there was a group of guys coming up the street, and when they saw us they sort of spread out into a line- well more a horseshoe really. So that we couldn’t walk around them. We had to walk through them. I thought at first that they were after you, so I grabbed your hand and you know- just pretended you were my boyfriend, but then half of them were leering at me. And I had my nine-drinks-down-and- don’t-fucking-mess-with-me face on, and I was ready to go all “BACK OFF! Eyes, nose, throat and groin, foot, no!” on them... but luckily your brain was still residing in your body - though it has clearly vacated the building since - and you called down over their shoulders, to the end of the street “Hi Officers.” And these dudes were pretty fucking dumb and they hesitated. And that’s all we needed. We piss bolted down the end and there was a cab in the rank on Hollow and Harbour so we got that and he drove us here.

Adult language, Adult themes


Male | 20s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 65

EXTRACT: I was walking home from the station, about midnight. I’d been out to this shitty little bar, and I’d been flirting with a real-live guy. He leans into me and tells me to go buy us another round. The second I have my back turned, he has his tongue down the throat of the guy next to me, his hand up in this guy’s perfect hair. I just left. I couldn’t get it out of my head. So much that I wasn’t paying any attention to where I was or how I was walking. It wasn’t until I heard her gasp, that I even saw the woman walking down the street in front of me. But, she was profoundly aware of me. I’d only just noticed her, but she knew I was there and she was... fucking hell. She- I was just walking- I wasn’t even looking at her! But she was a woman walking alone at night, and I was a man walking behind her. She was looking over her shoulder and then straight ahead, marching on in stilettos and setting a cracking pace and I thought- fucking hell. She’s scared of me. She is scared of ME. And here’s the fucked thing. My initial reaction wasn’t, “oh shit, better back off. I’ve scared the lady.” No, my reaction was actually to be kind of pissed. Cause in my head I was like “Fuck off lady. Just because I’m a dude and you’re a chick. Just because it’s late and dark and whatever the fuck else, doesn’t mean I’m going to drag you behind that dumpster and cut you into little pieces. Fuck you, you don’t even know me.” That was my reaction. Anger. Angry. That’s fucked up. And look, in my defence it did dawn on me, that maybe I was responding in an inappropriate manner – and I think it’s pretty obvious that I was actually pretty fucking pissed at the guy in the bar and my anger was nothing to do with this woman butEven me. Even someone who- “Yes, she’s scared of you.” I thought. But isn’t it worse for her? The one who can’t even walk down the street? “Imagine feeling like her.” I remember thinking that. There it is, though. That’s the thing. I feel exactly like that.

Adult language, Adult themes


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

EXTRACT: So I’m walking home from the gym, right? Dressed in my gear, sweaty faced, when this car slows down next to me, full of guys, so that the guy in the passenger seat can say “Yeeeeew, what’s up beautiful?”, while the driver beeps the horn, and the two in the back can look me up and down. They’re really close to me, rolling along slowly, and my heart is pounding in my ears, because you don’t know what a car full of guys is capable of. So it takes me a couple of seconds to gather myself to react. I look up and say “Leave me alone. I didn’t ask for your comment. This is a sidewalk not a catwalk.” At which point passenger guy spits out the window and bellows “FUCK YOU, SLUT. YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL!” Driver guy holds down the horn and slams his foot on the accelerator, taking off, while back seat guy goes like this (she makes a V with her first two fingers, and mimes oral sex with her tongue) and passenger guy sticks his finger up out the window. I’m standing there in shock. For about ten seconds. Until another car - I am not exaggerating - another car with a male driver, beeps at me as he drives past. Two in the space of ten seconds. Here’s the thing. If I called a friend, called the police about this, they’d say: can you describe what happened? And I’d hear: “So one guy called you beautiful, and the other beeped their horn at you. 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. Dear The Culture. It’s not a compliment. Sincerely Jiggle Tits

Adult language, Adult themes


Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 70

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. Next thing I felt a hand move up under my skirt and pull my undies aside. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I couldn’t move forward or backwards, or turn around to stop it. Someone reached under my skirt and put his fingers inside me. There were thousands of people there in that tent. Thousands. I should have been safe there. Whatever happened to safety in numbers?

Adult language, Adult themes, Sexual abuse


Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 71

EXTRACT: E 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. I was just longing for someone to want me. To know I was lovable. Just fuckable. The girl you take home to your dirty, dingy bachelor pad, but never home to your parents. People cast this ridiculous blame on women, about why they don’t leave. I keep forgetting that I’m back at my house, that he doesn’t live here. I keep picturing him walking through the door, seeing me talking to Will. The other day Will walked in the door and I was halfway through running to the kitchen with a glass I’d left on the counter, thinking it was Kale coming in the door, thinking I wasthinking And then I realised it was Will, and Will doesn’t give a shit about glasses. Kale doesn’t live here. I’ve quit my job, but what if I run into him? What if he sees Will? This is how I live my life now. Fear. Frightened. That’s fucked up.



“Believe in yourself and all that you are” is the unspoken chant that underlies the wonderful, timely, and poignant play The Culture by Aussie writer and performer Laura Jackson.

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