Australia in 50 Plays is Julian Meyrick's lively and accessible account of the remarkable relationship between our national drama and our national life, examining fifty outstanding plays of diverse content and style that have appeared in the 120 years since Federation. Energetic, entertaining and original, Meyrick shows the key contribution drama has made to the development of modern Australia through its role in the major issues of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the impact of two world wars, the ravages of the Great Depression, the changing role of women, the gradual acknowledgement of First Nation's culture, the social liberation of the 1970s, and the economic rationalism of the 1990s. It argues for an expansive idea of 'nationhood' as a key driver of debate in the political, social and cultural challenges that face contemporary Australia, while exploring the surprising links between our drama, our history and our collective life. A brilliant study of the complex ways in which drama reflects, analyses and shapes a nation's experience and sense of itself. This is a highly original book, full of insight, generosity and understanding. It serves as a passionate tribute to the many creative artists who have made the Australian theatre what it is.
Includes bibliographical references and index.