Patrick White's Theatre

Australian Modernism on Stage, 1960-2018

Patrick White's Theatre
Denise Varney
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One of the giants of Australian literature and the only Australian writer to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Patrick White received less acclaim when he turned his hand to playwriting. In Patrick White' s Theatre, Denise Varney offers a new analysis of White' s eight published plays, discussing how they have been staged and received over a period of 60 years. From the sensational rejection of The Ham Funeral by the Adelaide Festival in 1962 to 21st-century revivals incorporating digital technology, these productions and their reception illustrate the major shifts that have taken place in Australian theatre over time. Varney unpacks White' s complex and unique theatrical imagination, the social issues that preoccupied him as a playwright, and his place in the wider Australian modernist and theatrical traditions.
Denise Varney is Professor of Theatre Studies and co-director of the Australian Centre in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.