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Travnort Essay, Research Paper

The latest play at the Wharf Theatre has proved to be a runaway success. Its producer, Mack Jided, talks to us about why he chose to perform it. “I decided to perform Travelling North for a variety of reasons. I was impressed by David Williamson’s ability to create true-to-life, humourous characters. His faithful recreation of Australian dialogue also influenced me to perform the play. His large following of playgoers is another factor in the play’s favour. The messages in the play, however, were what specially drew me toward the play. They really leave a lasting impression on the audience. “An aspect of the play that particularly attracted me was the abundance of realistic characters. The playwright makes it easy for the audience to picture them, increasing their enjoyment of the play. It’s always nice for a producer to find a play that makes his work easier, by saving him from having to almost invent the characters himself if he wants any realism in his production. The variation in personalities also adds depth to the play. This is important since it keeps the play vibrant and stops it becoming just the same thing over and over. “The dialogue of the play is of a quality we rarely see in modern plays. It is fast-moving and witty and very realistic. This is very important in a play. Without humour the audience gets bogged down in the themes of the play, and humour itself can hold a message. In this play, Freddy’s constant intrusions into Frank and Frances’ lives reminds them that there are some things in life that never change. The realism is also an important part of my decision to perform the play. You can sense the disgust in Helen’s voice as she says, “I think it’s nauseating.” You could catch the condescension dripping from the Celebrant’s voice in a bucket. This draws the audience in and makes them more receptive to the play as a whole. It is one of the main reasons I decided to produce the play. “One purely monetary reason for choosing the play was because the name David Williamson has a built-in audience

in Australia. His solid reputation for fantastic plays attracts people who don’t even know what Travelling North is about. This is, I suppose, a double-incentive to produce one of his plays. David Williamson means quality product guaranteed, which is good, and quality product guaranteed means automatic audience, which is also good. “The most impressive thing about the play, I think, is the way the many and varied themes are presented. They aren’t obtrusive, so they slowly dawn on the audience as they do to the characters, and the audience don’t feel that things are being forced upon them. Also, the number of themes presented means that even people who can’t quite corner all of them can still get something out of the play. “I sppose the main theme of Travelling North is enjoying life, while you still have it, and living your dreams while you still can. Grouped around that are things like growing old, death and the fear of death, and also things like family relationships, responsibility to others and escaping from that responsibility. It takes a quality play and a skilled playwright to get all this over while still presenting a seamless product, and this is the main reason Travelling North appealed to me. “The interesting thing about this play is though it is firmly tied to Australia in setting, language and character, the themes are universal. Visitors from overseas can come in, sit down, associate with the undercurrents of theme in the play and learn a lot about Australia at the same time. This could be a very beneficial trend, because David Williamson portrays Australians as they really are, and this could help discourage the ‘koala and shrimp’ attitude some tourists come here with, and occasionally leave here with. “So if your readers want to see a play with realistic characters, true-to-life language, broad appeal and a wide range of themes, all presented in a seamless package, Travelling North is the obvious choice, as it was for me.”

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