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Open Right

Hannie Rayson: Two Brothers

Session Info:

The author will discuss the play, the historical context, the media frenzy and the function of political theatre. Can theatre effect social change? Should it try?


  • The writing of a political thriller. What are the conventions. How does Two Brothers subvert the genre?
  • What was the nature of the controversy with Two Brothers?
  • Was it a good or bad thing?
  • What are the pitfalls/advantages of presenting a fiction which sails close to the truth of actual events/people.
  • Is the theatre the right place for political activism? *Brecht said that art is not a mirror held up to reality, it is a hammer by which to shape it. Do Australian audiences want to be hammered?
  • Why was the commentary so literal-minded?

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