Acclaimed Australian playwright and Playwriting Australia Board Member Andrew Bovell has delivered the 2018 Wal Cherry Lecture at Flinders University. Andrew has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Flinders University.

In the Lecture Andrew explores the work of the dramatist differs from that of the historian. The latter examines history to reveal how things were. The playwright uses history to reveal how things are. A historic drama serves little purpose unless it sheds light on what is happening now.
Holy Day is set on the “white frontier” in the mid-nineteenth century. It premiered at the Playbox Theatre in Adelaide in 2001, under the direction of Rosalba Clemente. This seminal work examined some of the tensions that shape the Australian psyche; the violence perpetrated by men against women, the violence and legacy of colonisation and the misunderstanding of the landscape by the colonising culture. Twenty years later how has the conversation around these national themes changed?
In his 2018 Wal Cherry Lecture, Andrew Bovell asks how the play would change if he was to write it now, and even more crucially, whether such a play should be written or whether the times demand a different story and different story tellers.
Andrew Bovell is an acclaimed Australian writer for theatre, film and television. His recent work for the stage includes Things I Know to be True, co-produced by the State Theatre Co of SA and UK company Frantic Assembly, the adaptation of Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River, for the Sydney Theatre Company and When the Rain Stops Falling, commissioned by Brink Theatre, which premiered at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 2008. Other works for the Stage include Scenes From a Separation, Speaking in Tongues, Holy Day, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, Ship of Fools and After Dinner, which was revived by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015 and by the State Theatre of SA in 2018.

To read the transcript of Andrew Bovell’s 2018 Wal Cherry Lecture, click here,

Or to watch the speech, click here.

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