AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 4426497981086606529.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
y separately published work icon The Removalists single work   drama   - Two acts
Issue Details: First known date: 1971... 1971 The Removalists
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A young policeman’s first day on duty becomes a violent and highly charged initiation into law enforcement. Remarkable for its blend of boisterous humour and horrifying violence, the play has acquired a reputation as a classic statement on Australian authoritarianism and is a key work in the study of Australian drama.

(Publication Synopsis)

Adaptations

form y separately published work icon The Removalists David Williamson , ( dir. Tom Jeffrey ) Australia : Margaret Fink Productions , 1975 Z866281 1975 single work film/TV

Constable Ross, a police constable on his first day of duty, and the cynical Sergeant Simmonds are drawn into a domestic dispute when two women come in to report a wife-beater. The officers arrange for a furniture removalist to come and take furniture from the flat of the woman's belligerent husband, and attend the removal themselves. The tension escalates when the husband, Kenny, knocks the removalist down and is subsequently beaten up by the police. The violence escalates as Kenny, who is handcuffed, is repeatedly assaulted while the others watch. It ends only when Constable Ross believes he has killed Kenny. The two policemen argue about the dire consequences, but Kenny regains consciousness and gets up.

Based on David Williamson's play (first staged at La Mama Theatre, Melbourne in 1971), the screenplay (including dialogue) closely follows the structure of the original story. The narrative is also set in the same two locations: a police station and a small flat.

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Year 10 (NSW Stage 5) with possible extension into Years 11–12.

Themes

Australia, authority, domestic violence, love and loss, morals, Power, violence

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Personal and social

Notes

  • Other formats: Also braille, sound recording.

Production Details

  • First produced at the Cafe La Mama, Melbourne, 22 July 1971.

    Director: Bruce Spence.


    The play's first major season was at the Nimrod Street Theatre, Sydney, opening on 13 October 1971.

    Director: Bruce Spence.


    The world rights were purchased by Harry M. Miller Attractions: their production, opened at the Playbox Theatre, Sydney, on 10 August 1972.

    Director: John Bell.


    Broadcast on ABC Radio National on Sunday 23 January 2011 as part of the Playing the 20th Century series.


    Performed at Bondi Pavilion, 22 May - June 15 2013.


    Performed at Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm, 14-16 August 2014.


    Performed at NIDA as part of their annual student productions.

    Director: Elsie Edgerton-Till.

    Cast drawn from final-year BFA Acting students.

    Crew drawn from final-year BFA Costume, Properties and Objects, Staging, and Technical Theatre and Stage Management students, with students of the MFA Design for Performance.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,:Currency Press , 1972 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Reflections on Violence, Ian Turner , 1972 single work criticism (p. 3-8)
Authority and Punishment: The Australian Inheritance 1825-1840, Frank Galbally , Kerry Milte , 1972 single work column (p. 9-19)
Police: Authority and Privilege, Frank Galbally , Kerry Milte , 1972 single work column (p. 20-21)
Directing The Removalists, John Bell , 1972 single work criticism (p. 122-128)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1971

Works about this Work

Aussie Classic Still Packs a Punch Phil Brown , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 14 August 2014; (p. 46)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
It's Still a Knockout Phil Brown , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 9 August 2014; (p. 6)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama

'The lingo of the 1970s is reclaimed in a revival of David Williamson's explosive hit of stage and screen, The Removalists...'

Adapting to a Season Without Cate Andrew Taylor , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13 September 2013; (p. 16)
[Untitled] Elissa Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 2 June 2013; (p. 11)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
Still Facing the Brutal Reality Elissa Blake , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25-26 May 2013; (p. 5)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
'The Removalists' violent portrayal of Australian manhood is as relevant today as it was in the 1970s, writes Elissa Blake.'
Curtain Call Phil Brown , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 23 - 29 July no. 453 2003; (p. 24)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
Real Bloke's Work Kathleen Noonan , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 26 July 2003; (p. 5)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
More Than Furniture Set to be Moved James Harper , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 11 August 2003; (p. 13)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
Final Act is a Classic Kathleen Noonan , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 7 August 2003; (p. 17)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
Fitting Finale Brett Debritz , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 13 - 19 August no. 456 2003; (p. 10)

— Review of The Removalists David Williamson , 1971 single work drama
A Human Bower Bird Annmaree O'Keeffe (interviewer), 1975 single work interview
— Appears in: Semper Floreat , July vol. 45 no. 10 1975; (p. 7)
Reflections on Violence Ian Turner , 1972 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Removalists 1972; (p. 3-8)
Directing The Removalists John Bell , 1972 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Removalists 1972; (p. 122-128)
Introduction Katharine Brisbane , 1986 single work criticism
— Appears in: Collected Plays : Volume I 1986; (p. vii-xviii)
David Williamson Peter Fitzpatrick , 1979 single work criticism
— Appears in: After 'The Doll' : Australian Drama Since 1955 1979; (p. 112-128)
Last amended 19 Jun 2018 13:26:08
X