Anthem by Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irine Vela

RECOMMENDED FOR: Tertiary students

CAST SIZE: 14 (original production included 8F and 6M, two musicians)

A PLAY TO: Read, read aloud, study, perform, as stimulus for making and creating

GENRE: Contemporary theatre, Dramatic realism, aspects of non-naturalism

THEMES: Reconciliation, identity, nationhood,

CURRICULUM/STUDY LINKS: Dramatic form and structure, contemporary Australian theatre,

SYNOPSIS: Anthem takes the pulse of the nation in a series of intersecting and sometimes brutal stories about class and race. It captures a nation in conflict and uncertain of its identity. The action is set primarily on trains where our conflicting identities compete for ascendency or simply for space and the right to be seen. Five writers…

Twenty-two years ago, four playwrights and a composer came together to create Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? a series of powerful interwoven vignettes that captured the zeitgeist of Melbourne and Australia in the 1990s. Consisting of five texts – Uncensored, 7-11 and A Chemist Warehouse – A Love Story, Terror, Brothers and Sisters and Resistance what emerges is a funny and ferocious portrait of a country unable to reconcile its past, uncertain of its future and political vision. The colliding voices that make up this anthem might not always be in harmony, but they cannot be silenced.

STAGING: The original production was designed to be multi-locational. The script specifically mentions the characters being on a train with the following note: At times during the play, the passengers on the train may resemble people on a crowded boat, or container, or truck – a glimpse at some other desperate journey in some other place or at some other time.

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 2022