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Five Sydney and Melbourne theatres have been criticised for an absence of curatorial ideas in their 2015 seasons, failing to engage with contemporary Australian and world politics and for being “very cosy and white”.

Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company tend to be “about big names” and “driven by star power”, says Lachlan Philpott, chair of the Australian Writers Guild playwrights committee and studio artist in residence at the Griffin Theatre Company. “It surprises me that there’s not one piece that makes reference to our current government,” says Philpott, examining the 2015 play seasons for STC, MTC, Belvoir, Griffin and Malthouse theatres.

Most Australian theatre leaders have failed to articulate their worldview beyond their work on stages. So says Wesley Enoch, the artistic director of the Queensland Theatre Company, in a strongly worded critique.

Enoch is a Noonuccal Nuugi man from Stradbroke Island, who directed Black Diggers and I Am Eora at the Sydney Festival and the original stage version of The Sapphires. He says that while for many Indigenous cultural leaders no idea is beyond the realms of possibility, the broader Australian cultural community lacks leaders prepared to speak to politics and society at large.

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