Art & Photography Books:

Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White

Governing Culture

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Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White by Denise Varney
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In March 2012, the Adelaide Festival of Arts in Australia staged an exuberant steam punk version of Patrick White's comic play `The Ham Funeral' (1948). In 2014, the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, staged White's ambitious and challenging `Night on Bald Mountain' (1964). `Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White' details the rejection of these two plays by the Adelaide Festival of Arts in the early 1960s. The central argument of the book is that aesthetic modernism in theatre and drama struggled to achieve visibility and acceptability, and posed a threat to the norms and values of early to mid-twentieth-century Australia. The recent productions indicate that despite the Adelaide Festival's early hostile rejections, White's plays endure. `Australian Theatre, Modernism and Patrick White' sheds new light on the cultural politics that surrounded the rejections, arguing that they represent instances of executive governance of cultural production, in this case theatre and performance.

Author Biography

Denise Varney is professor of theatre studies and co-director of the Australian Centre in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia. Sandra D'Urso holds a PhD in performance studies and is currently a researcher at the Australian Centre in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Release date Australia
August 30th, 2018
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Anthem Press
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