THE REMOVALISTS - A PLAY BY DAVID WILLIAMSON.
David Williamson, widely regarded as Australia's most successful playwright, has created a very controversial and very "Australian" glimpse of the Australian society during the early 1970's. A key theme in the play is the myth of the typical Aussie mateship, where every "good mate" stands by and helps another in need. Having said this, I believe that The Removalists simply cannot be adapted into the present day while retaining the strong sense of mateship. Throughout the past few decades, Australia has become more multicultural, more modernised and thus more independent.
Some say that The Removalists" characters are simply artificial and totally unbelievable, but the characters themselves are ideas, not dramatic creations. The composer has successfully divided the Australian society and represented them by just five characters which range from the removalist, a cold and money driven businessman and Kate a semi-upper-middle-class dentist's wife who is accused surprisingly of having an affair. One of the funniest lines in the play was where Kate's sister replied to her outburst:.
Kate: "All this fuss about an affair. Anyone would think that I"m a nymphomaniac!".
Fiona: "She isn't.".
In The Removalists Williamson effectively dispels the myth of mateship in Australia. We are shown more than one type of mateship, some more obvious than others. We are first introduced to Simmonds; a beefy, fat and middle-aged sergeant readily abuses and embarrasses his lesser workmate Constable Ross on his first day in the force, with apparent relish. The ideal Aussie mate would show understanding and would always be happy to lend a helping hand to his lesser experienced partner. However, we are shown a few glimpses of Simmonds's taking up a fatherly role towards Ross as if mocking him of his inexperience:.
"I think the first thing you've got to do, Ross, is to take stock of your weakness and face up to them.