“Stuff the rulebook up your arse.”
In a crime-ridden inner suburb of Melbourne, a seasoned police Sergeant and a raw recruit are drawn into the lives of two women dealing with domestic violence and abuse.
Simmonds the older cop bullies his subordinate Ross, belittling and patronising him; Kate, the controlling older sister bullies Fiona, her weaker sibling, badgering her to leave her husband Kenny. When the two police become involved in the planned escape, the consequences are both terrible and tragic.
David Williamson’s ground-breaking 1971 play radically changed Australian theatre. As a satirical study of authoritarianism and of social conditioning that forces people into constricting, inflexible roles, the play swings frantically between dark comedy and visceral savagery.
Using a young policeman’s first day on duty, Williamson investigated ‘ocker culture’ and the violence and sexism which lurked underneath the veneer of Australian society. In doing so, he placed ‘Australian voices’ on stage in a new and shocking way.
Fifty years later, domestic violence is still a rampant problem in our society, the statistics are alarming, and Williamson’s play remains sadly relevant as a bloody, violent, and deeply disturbing portrait of Australia.
Directed by Johann Walraven
*A performance will feature a LIVE Question and Answer session with the writer David Williamson (date to be confirmed).