Continuing its world premiere season at Sydney Festival, Anthem reunites five stories Australia storytellers – Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irine Vela – to give a 21st century update to their disruptive 1990s play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?
While Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? gave voice to characters and individuals still clinging to existence in the margins of society, after a series of decades where the Australian populace radically transitioned from mostly working class to mostly middle-class, Anthem casts its net wider, looking at what divides and unties us as a country in 2020, and whether we truly do “sing with one voice”.
The answer, resoundingly, is no – we do not. Over four interwoven vignettes, the writers take us inside four stories of characters you could encounter on any public transport journey: an overworked, minimum wage, gig-economy couple planning a Bonnie and Clyde style rampage of revenge against neoliberal capitalism; a Louis Vuitton and Chanel toting woman who has been reduced to homelessness by divorce, gender and a lack of financial independence; and Christos Tsiolkas’s contribution exploring sibling tensions when a successful brother returns from overseas to try and “better” the lives of his family members.
The Age called it “tough, funny theatre with an urgency to its purpose and no comfortable answers. It can’t say everything about modern Australia, but what it does say rings true.”
Watch Dr Sarah Attfield of the UTS Creative Writing program discuss the themes in Anthem below and secure your tickets below that.
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay
$50–$79 + BF
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