To celebrate 50 years of David Williamson’s work appearing on Australian stages, the Melbourne Theatre Company is staging a new production of his 1987 work Emerald City, directed by Sam Strong and featuring Marg Downey, Megan Hind, Nadine Garner, Jason Klarwein, Rhys Muldoon and Ray Chong Nee.
The play is a famously ambivalent portrait of the media and film industries, and also of Sydney (the titular “Emerald City”). The story is based loosely on Williamson’s own life, following a past-his-best screenwriter and his socially conscious wife as they move from Melbourne to Sydney in a bid to boost the former’s flagging career.
The industries in question may have changed since the heady days of the greed-is-good ’80s, but the play’s themes – the cultural cringe, the tension between artistic integrity and commercial success, the interaction of identity and credibility in authorship – remain as relevant as ever.
(Remember: if you’re under 30, you can receive 50 per cent off all full-price MTC tickets and subscriptions.)
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