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Ties that bind
Drawn from life
The wedding reception is about to go horribly wrong. Jack Charles plays Mick, Bunurong elder and the hirsute uncle of the groom, who shakes our hands at a guest table festooned with love-heart balloons and gum leaves. A three-piece band plays guitar and drums on the stage, which is draped in glittery red strips underneath the grand organ pipes of Sydney Town Hall’s Centennial room.

Two huge screens flash photos of what father of the bride Robert (Tainui Tukiwaho), our MC (“Maori of ceremonies”), calls “our beautiful black and brown family sitting under a tree” – mostly snapped with awkward cheesy grins and half-shut eyes.


After 50 years of writing more than 50 plays, David Williamson insists he is retiring from the theatre. Turning 78 this February, the Noosa, south Queensland-based playwright is about to see his last two new plays produced back to back in Sydney where he built his career, while his classic semi-autobiographical satire of the harbour metropolis, Emerald City, will be remounted in a new production in Brisbane and Melbourne. Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact he is widely regarded as Australia’s most commercially successful playwright, with a loyal audience hooked on his naturalistic style of storytelling about the white middle class, Williamson’s relationship with the people he sees as the cultural gatekeepers – theatre critics – has been fraught.



Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

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