The content on this webpage contains paid/affiliate links. When you click on any of our affiliate link, we/I may get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our affiliate disclosure for more info -----------------------
Last updated on June 15th, 2017 at 01:09 pm
“We are living in times when debate is not encouraged,” shrieks Two Brothers playwright Hannie Rayson:
Andrew Bolt, the relentless fulminator, is screaming at me in page after page of vitriol: “Shut up. Just shut up. You are a witch who has no right to speak.” In this climate, what is called for is bold provocation. Now is not the time for timidity in our drama.
It’s actually Rayson who would prefer that debate over her latest play be silenced; she wants her “bold provocation” to be met with supine agreement. Bolt doesn’t oblige:
Last week, we mourned the gallant Sea King dead—the nine members of our defence forces who died bringing aid to Indonesians.
Tonight, the Melbourne Theatre Company pays its own tribute to our military—a play that shows them murdering asylum-seekers.
That’s Rayson’s idea of non-timid drama, which is written from the perspective of someone who is wilfully clueless:
In an interview last week, Rayson said that in writing Two Brothers, “my quest in a way was to try and get inside the conservative mindset, because I don’t really understand it”.
She added: “It was an odd thing to start researching: How do the Right think? … So I ring people up and tell them what I’m doing and can I come and talk?”
It seems that Rayson, this student of humanity, doesn’t actually know or understand anyone who isn’t of the Left. These are people whose views she seems to me to have never considered—and still cannot grasp—even though there are so many such folk that they’ve put John Howard and Costello into office in the past four elections.
Those same people fund Rayson through their taxes. Naturally, she’s a Hansonite:
Two years ago, at a taxpayer-funded awards night, Rayson made a speech condemning the Howard Government for backing free trade, allegedly making artists here compete harder with foreigners.
“Our Government is turning us into a kind of cultural Werribee,” she complained.
My home town—slandered! Shut up, witch!
UPDATE. Highlights from Mad Hannie’s interview with The Bulletin’s Jennifer Byrne:
“I don’t want to be a satirist because I think satire is a kind of right-wing position …”
“How do you explain this global phenomenon that the right is on the rise and rise and there is a sense of vigour coming only from that side of politics? People want to talk about the left but this isn’t a play about the left … it’s about how the left has been outwitted, outgunned, outmanoeuvred, and why all energy is coming from the other side. And that’s what I wanted to understand and why I met these establishment people because I don’t have cause to meet such people in my life.”
“I am ambitious to write beautifully.”