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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 The Great Australian Plays
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What Are the Great Australian Plays? Refining Our Theatre Canon Julian Meyrick , 2016 criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 30 November 2016;

'You could say that a canonical play is one where you’re the problem if you don’t like it. The formula critical judgement + physical repetition = classic fixes its value ahead of time. A canonical play is never bad, only badly received. The job of the canon-upholding critic is to instruct the audience in How to Appreciate Culture.' (Introduction)

Speaking ‘Orstyrlian’ in Rusty Bugles Julian Meyrick , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 30 November 2016;
'Rusty Bugles is a comedy-drama by Sumner Locke Elliot, one of the many talented writers to abandon Australia in the 1940s and 1950s in search of an artistic living overseas. ...'
The Torrents, the Doll and the Critical Mass of Australian Drama Julian Meyrick , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 8 December 2016;
'In 1955, two plays, The Torrents by Oriel Gray and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler, shared first prize in a Playwrights Advisory Board Competition (about £200). Such competitions were a regular feature at the time: earnest, if limited attempts to kick-start Australian drama into life.' (Introduction)
A Cheery Soul Gave Us a Supreme Theatrical Monster Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 31 January 2017;
'In 2004, Melbourne Theatre Company, where I worked at the time, asked me to write a short history for their 50th anniversary. A battered box was duly wheeled into my office, containing material from previous celebrations and books of yellowing press clippings.' (Introduction)
The Front Room Boys and New Wave Theatre Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 15 February 2017;

''Fucken boong'. With these words Australian theatre entered the swinging sixties – eight years after the decade began.

The two profanities capture the spirit of rebellion that characterised a new generation of theatre artists. They are the last line of Alex Buzo’s play Norm and Ahmed (1968) and the actors who uttered them were prosecuted for obscenity when it was produced in Queensland and Victoria.' (Introduction)

Sex, Poetry and The Chapel Perilous Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 3 May 2017;
'When she died in 2002, The Age hailed Dorothy Hewett as “the grande dame of Australian literature” and gave a thumbnail sketch of her remarkable life as poet, dramatist, novelist, Communist Party activist and serial lover. Calling her a free spirit doesn’t come close to capturing the turbulent, at times self-destructive energy that marked Hewitt’s relationships and her work.' (Introduction)
Williamson, Hibberd and the Better Angels of Our Country’s Nature Julian Meyrick , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 22 October 2017;

'Two of Australian theatre’s most celebrated artists are scientists. Their CVs may not be immediately recognizable. One is an engineer, an ex-thermodynamics lecturer, and holds a Masters degree in social psychology. The other is a medical doctor, a onetime hospital registrar, and a specialist in clinical immunology.' (Introduction)

The Cake Man and the Indigenous Mission Experience Julian Meyrick , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 1 February 2018;

'In the introduction to her seminal book Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre, Mary Rose Casey observes:

Indigenous Australian activists and artist have consistently utilised the potential for theatre… to create different frames… of Indigenous Australians… In a show like Basically Black (1972), the “gaze” as an expression of racial objectification was returned… Following this work, writers such as Robert Merritt, Kevin Gilbert, Gerry Bostock and Jack Davis individually and collectively altered the range of representations of Indigenous Australians in Australian theatres and writing. In doing so, they increased awareness of issues affecting Indigenous people and related those issues to [them] as human beings.

Indigenous Australian culture is one of the oldest on the planet, stretching back thousands of years. Indigenous engagement with colonially derived theatre is of shorter duration, and it is only in the last 50 years that Indigenous playwrights, in the European sense, have emerged. Robert Merritt, author of The Cake Man, is one of this cohort. Written in 1975, his play comes after Kevin Gilbert’s The Cherry Pickers (1971) but before Jack Davis’s No Sugar(1985)'. (Introduction)

When the Cultural Cringe Abated : Australian Drama in the 1970s Julian Meyrick , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 5 June 2018;

'If Australian drama came of age in the 1940s and 1950s, in the 1970s it reached full maturity. More work by more playwrights by more companies for larger audiences: this is the basic narrative of the period. The AusStage database indicates that between 1970 and 1979, local productions of Australian plays more than doubled. And if the standard of that drama could be variable, there is no doubting the craft, intelligence and audacity of its peak achievements.' (Introduction)

Dreams in an Empty City : A Strikingly Prescient Morality Tale about Banking 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 12 July 2018;

'There is no single event foreshadowing the darker mood of the 1980s, as the election of the Whitlam Labor government presaged the expansive atmosphere of the 1970s. Margaret Thatcher, “the Iron Lady”, became UK Prime Minister in 1979. The neo-conservative Ronald Reagan was elected US President in 1981. Thereafter came a firestorm of social and economic changes: the deregulation of financial markets; the rise of Islamic fundamentalism; the dismantling of trade barriers; the collapse of Eastern bloc communism; the re-opening of China to the West; Fukuyama’s End of History.'

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Last amended 13 Jul 2018 07:09:13
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