From the Archives, 1997: Playwright comes to terms with bad weather

First revealed in The Age on August 9, 1997

Playwright involves phrases with dangerous climate

Melbourne turned on a typical four-seasons-in-a-day welcome for playwright David Williamson yesterday and he didn’t thoughts a bit. His newest, and most private play, the cringingly comedian After the Ball, opens tonight and he was completely satisfied to see that the town had gone by way of nearly as many modifications as he has.

David Williamson again in Melbourne for his new play, After The Ball.Credit:Sebastian Costanzo

“The importance of multiculturalism is really evident,” he mentioned. “The vibrancy of the inner city is evident. The casino is extremely evident. And Melbourne is finally coming to grips with the AFL as a national competition.”


This was the city he grew up in. The city the place he suffered schoolyard torment for being a two-metre-tall teenager. The house the place he was an observer on the Bentleigh battlefield of his mismatched dad and mom. The early-Seventies setting through which he dropped engineering and instructing to take up playwriting, starting with The Coming of Stork, The Removalist and Don’s Party.

Williamson left Melbourne for Sydney in 1979 with the cries of “traitor” ringing in his ears. Now that he’s travelled additional north to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, he’s listening to the identical braying about betrayal from the harbor metropolis.

Life’s too brief to fret about such niggling, Williamson determined after witnessing his mom’s final breath in a Perth hospice in October 1995, a yr after dropping his father. “When you see someone die in front of you in a graphic way, you start to think about what you really want to be doing with the rest of your life,” he mentioned.

“While I didn’t have to necessarily write about it, the death of my mother started me thinking about the forms and manners of personal politics rather than societal power plays and trying, as I had been (with Dead White Males and Heretic), to blend the theatre of ideas with the theatre of personal interaction.”

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