If Julia Gillard’s abrupt oustingby her predecessor and bitter rival Kevin Rudd made Australian politics look dramatic, a new verbatim play based on parliamentary records will aim to capture that drama.
With elections looming, playwright Katie Pollock and political writer Paul Daley have compiled a script from speeches made in the Australian parliament. The Hansard Monologues: A Matter of Public Importance will premiere at the end of July, and uses parliamentary transcripts to examine Gillard’s time in office.
Three actors – David Roberts, Camilla Ah Kin and Tony Llewellyn-Jones – will each play a number of politicians in the production at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, recreating speeches made in parliament since 2010. A series of panel discussions with political thinkers has been planned around the production, which was conceived and produced by journalist Peter Fray, a former editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
MP Rob Oakeshott, who will take part in one of the post-show events, said he thought the production an important one. “I’m in the camp, and I concede it’s a small camp, that underneath all the noise this has been a significant period and a successful period in Australian parliamentary history,” he said.
Among the issues covered in the piece are immigration policy, carbon tax and same-sex marriage, as well as the wider catcalling that has doggedGillard’s tenure as prime minister.
“Hansard is a living document. It is the story of our country and it is written and rewritten in federal parliament. Reading this play, I understood for the first time the depth and breadth of our national discourse,” said Fray.
Blogging about the play this year, he revealed he hoped to persuade a politician to take part. “I’d love to have a serving MP be part of the cast every night,” he wrote.
After losing Wednesday’s caucus vote to Rudd, Gillard plans to retire from politics.
Credit: the Guardian