A. A. Phillips introduces his review of six new Australian dramas by saying: 'The quality of these plays, and others in the present burgeoning, is perhaps not the most important consideration. It matters much more that they are here and that they are satisfying audiences. Culturally in the widest sense of the word, the theatre's first importance is not as a potent vehicle of art, but as the place where a crosssection of the community has a common, and preferably a significant, experience. But so long as our theatre presented almost entirely imported material it forfeited half its power to develop our social coherence. Moreover, it fed our tendency to drowse into acceptance of a client-state mentality. It therefore matters a good deal that a sizeable slice of our common entertainment is now being presented by our own entertainers concerned with our own forms of living and igniting an eagerness of response. If their plays are also good art or penetrating social comment, so very much the better; but that is not their primary social function.' (Meanjin 32.2 (June 1973):189)
Margaret Williams argues that 'the greatest single factor in setting Australian playwrights free to explore the dramatic possibilities of their own society has been the decline of naturalism, particularly of the well-made naturalistic play' (308). She comments on recent plays, especially by Jack Hibberd, Alex Buzo and David Williamson, suggesting that they each 'make imaginative use of the social ritual and verbal cliches of Australian society to explore insecurity and inadequacy behind their defensive facades (310)'.