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It is November 2014, and an older, whiter, more affluent crowd than the multicultural audience that usually attends this avant-garde playwright’s work is seeing the New York debut of Straight White Men. Having presented 10 shows in this city through her eponymous theatre company, the play is Young Jean Lee’s first crack at a naturalist, three-act structure and, the subscribers might presume, a first waltz with the mainstream.

The set at the Public Theatre is comfortably reassuring: a hyper-naturalistic middle-class family room with a taupe leather sofa, a matching easy chair, a dark-brown recliner with matching ottoman, a side table, and a large battered coffee table. The focal point is an unseen television downstage centre.


Oh, Melbourne, you little creative petri dish, you; you’ve outshone Sydney again. Daniel Andrews’ Labor government pledged an extra $115m in funding for the Victorian creative industries, to be spent over the next four years. On the eve of the 3 May federal budget – that time of year our Canberra leaders now traditionally celebrate by giving the arts a good booting – the Victorian government has strengthened its claim as Australia’s arts mecca.

The Andrews government’s pledge will grow Victoria’s cultural capital through new talent development programs, commissions of work, provision of co-working spaces and the announcement of an annual creative industries summit, among a list of 40 initiatives.




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