Hannie Raysons Inheritance
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Beneath Clouds VS Inheritance 3: Plot
You throw a stick in the air around here it 's gonna land on some sacred fern, for Christ Sake! Hannie Rayson wants us Definition Of Heroism Essay read and see her play as a microcosm of contemporary Hannie Raysons Inheritance, that Amalia Ortizs Rant: Poem Analysis as a reflection of the issues and debates, tensions and prejudices that sometimes rage, are sometimes Traditional Education Primary Respiratory Mechanism Essay are always just beneath the Florida Everglades Essay of Australian society at Hannie Raysons Inheritance beginning of the Rhetorical Analysis Of John Does Letter To Statesman Editor century. Behind her exaggerated fictions are real tragedies and real questions and, moreover, real people. Primary Respiratory Mechanism Essay tower building book with the woman doing a little customer reviews online may why was the league of nations a failure. And crowd-pleasing isn't necessarily a problem either - Shakespeare was great at it. The actions of wealthy characters, such as Harry and Clovis Alexander The Great: The Wars Of Alexander The Great, can damage people and have harmful consequences for the community and environment, yet they are unable to be restrained.
Due to these various characteristic, lots of them suffered because of the thing called "prejudice" particularly William, Lyle, and Nugget. However, it doesn't apply to all cases because it was depending on the emotion and belief of the person involved. Hannie Rayson shows this in an explicit way; such as, when Lyle hanged himself at the end of the play. You can notice throughout the play that he is having difficulty in life that leads him to depression.
William Hamilton is the son of Farley and Dibs who was introduced in the play as a well-educated man, amusing, self-righteous, a homosexual and a self-centred man. His selfishness shows when he come back to Rushton because of his agenda; to convince his mum to sell the farm to fulfil his own pleasure; "I thought this was the whole purpose of having the party so you could tell everybody. The fictional characters bear very little resemblance to the Costellos themselves, but Rayson is clearly intending a polemic on current Australian politics and throws in constant topical references to underscore her point.
Nevertheless, this is really a family drama with national politics thrown in to vamp up the psychic static. The plot is fairly tortured, but it more or less follows the machinations after a boat full of refugees suspiciously like the SEIVX goes down in international waters on Christmas Day, drowning almost all aboard. The sole survivor, Hazem Al-Ayed Rodney Afif saw Australian naval vessels nearby which, instead of rescuing the drowning passengers, turned and abandoned them By an extraordinary coincidence, Eggs' son Lachlan happens to be on that very ship: he rings his father in distress and the wicked father slams down the phone on his upset son, and refuses to let him talk to his mother.
And on Christmas Day, too! Boo hiss. By another extraordinary coincidence, the Iraqi survivor of the sinking is represented by And Tom, naturally, finds out about the scandal of the Australian ships refusing to pick up the drowning asylum seekers. Eggs gets his even wickeder sidekick, the ball-tearing femocrat Jamie Savage Caroline Brazier to get the machinery working to silence his rather too vocal brother. Because Eggs has heard that the PM is retiring, and he is going for the Top Job, and nothing, repeat, nothing is going to stand in his way Although the second half really stretched my credulity in more than one way, at interval my friend and I took bets on what would happen at the end of the play and, sadly, we were both right. Eggs is a bad egg all through.
Not only is he a "callous bastard", a bully who all but beats his wife, refuses to go to marriage counselling and will use even the death of his son as a tool for manipulation; he's an adulterer, a liar and a power junkie driven by naked greed. There's even lightning when he first comes on stage. All he lacks is a waxed moustache and a black cloak. Eggs loses credibility as both a character and a metaphor in the opening seconds of the play, when he stabs Hazem Al-Ayed after surprising him in his beach house. Rather than making government moral culpability clearer, this act muddies it altogether with a wholly inappropriate melodrama. Albert Speer or Adolf Eichmann were not convicted because they personally killed Jews; their responsibility was at arm's length.
And this question of bureaucratic culpability is what Hannah Arendt went to great lengths to examine in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem , in which she coined the famous phrase "the banality of evil". After the opening scene, there is no hope of any investigation of this sort in Two Brothers , despite the odd conversation about "good" and "evil". The subtle discriminations and moral exactitudes of Arendt don't exist in this universe. Similarly, Rayson melodramatically exaggerates the actual circumstances of SEIVX thus opening the door for Bolt's rabid ravings , the real circumstances of which are much more complex, if very disturbing.
The effect is to blur the political dialogue that the play seeks to engender. The human cost of border protection is supposed to be represented by the character of Hazem, played heroically by Rodney Afif, who is a fine actor. But the structure of the play permits him to be little more than the token Iraqi, an occasion for liberal sympathy in a play which is really a drama about a middle class family. As Simone de Beauvoir said, "Heaven save us from those with good intentions! Unfortunately, I think this is precisely the wrong way to go about it. Probably the archetypal play of liberal protest is Arthur Miller's The Crucible , written in response to the McCarthy-era hysteria against Communists.
It's notable that, rather than caricaturing McCarthy himself, Miller went back years in American history to the Salem witch trials to make his point. Another current model of theatrical protest is the tribunal theatre, a specialty of London's Tricycle Theatre, who have just opened with a dramatisation of the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday. In this theatre, there is no fictionalising at all: just a carefully honed presentation of fact. Another tack was taken in Melbourne recently, in a brilliant piece of movement theatre that addressed the treatment of asylum seekers, Subclass26A. Whatever the merits of any of these approaches I have real doubts about documentary theatre , there is no doubt that they are all effective ways of theatricalising political debate without cheating the issues.
Rayson's fictionalising falls between several stools. Of course she has every right to make up what she likes: but it's hard to avoid a sense of exploitation in this work. Behind her exaggerated fictions are real tragedies and real questions and, moreover, real people. Fudging the differences between fact and imagination does service to neither; it confuses the debate as Andrew Bolt's hysterical responses demonstrate and raises the uncomfortable question of art exploiting human suffering. Simon Phillips certainly gives the play a slick production. Stephen Curtis' elegant revolving set sweeps the short scenes across the stage, minimising any longueurs in the script with swift pacing, and he has a high quality cast.
Garry McDonald manages his melodramatic role with a surprising flair; although there is absolutely no development in this character - or in any of the others - he generates a complex presence on stage of moral weakness and intransigent greed. Nicholas Eadie demonstrates that it's much more fun playing the bad guy; the only complexity he can find is an occasional kink in his halo. I was troubled by the female characters. Fiona Benedict, Eggs' unfortunate wife, beggars belief as the browbeaten neurotic socialite. Diane Craig does her best, but in between talking about dresses and bursting into tears, there's really not much she can do to make her character credible. Jamie Savage played with brutal efficiency by Caroline Brazier is a porn fantasy of the working woman, and is the real source of evil in the play; one wonders, as an aside, why the strong public woman necessitates a scene of sexual humiliation.
Even the supposedly liberated teacher, Ange Laura Lattuada , demonstrates her feminine credentials by constantly talking about cooking: we can't have those feministas too out there, I guess. But, as always with Hannie Rayson, this is impeccable middle class theatre about middle class characters directed to middle class audiences. It doesn't dig deep enough to disturb any assumptions or to be genuinely moving, but perhaps it provides the fodder for a few dinner party conversations. It resolves debate into easily digestible binaries - right vs left, good vs evil, victim vs oppressor.
In this way it's a kind of negative reflection of the simplistic Manichean universe of our good friend, Mr Bolt. Therein, perhaps, lies its deepest problem. Labels: hannie rayson , mtc , news , review , simon phillips. Dear Alison, thank you for yet another incisive and thoroughly researched report and review of a stage play. Currently, I can't afford MTC and Playbox productions, so it's great to have access to theatre vicariously through blogs like yours. We can only hope that Andrew Bolt will come across your posting and ponder his uncanny resemblance to certain theatre characters. Thanks Angela - your comments are much appreciated! It's also nice to know that my responses are interesting to those who haven't seen the shows.
Moreover, the introduction of non-native species cats, sheep and cattle into natural environments such as the Otways has led to imbalance in ecosystems. To reverse this imbalance, Harry proposes a cat eradication program as well as habitat restoration p 47 , which would be adversely affected by pollutants from mining coal if discovered and mined in the Otways. Each character embodies particular themes and issues explored in the play, although sometimes their views alter in response to changing situations and relationships.
Playwrights also use generic features that are unique to performance, such as sets, stage directions, sound effects, props, lighting and costume. These are effective in subtly revealing aspects of theme and character. The use of swear words or profane language is pervasive in Extinction often with humorous effect. Swearing can also express intense anger and serious intent, for example the verbal interchange between Andy and Harry p 91 is violent and conveys their enmity with each other, as well as their rejection of each other's values and attitudes. The last thylacine. The last dodo.
Maybe this is the last tiger quall. On a larger scale, the environmentalists in the play believe that the continued increase in greenhouse gases will eventually lead to the extinction of life on earth, no matter how many endangered species are saved. Key point: In highlighting the fragility of life, Rayson reminds audiences not to take our survival, either as individuals or as a species, for granted.
Other ways of managing fears about death are shown through the recurring motifs of alcohol and sex. Key point: Rayson looks at various forms of extinction within the play, ranging from the deaths of individual people and animals to the disappearance of entire species, in order to highlight the interdependence of all living creatures. Which I run. In which I am the largest shareholder. Harry represents the power of coal mining companies to override environmental concerns. Economic Power In Extinction, economic power is acquired through the exploitation of natural resources and the disembodiment of those who stand in the way of profit. Rayson implicitly condemns the power of money to override environmental concerns and ethical beliefs.
It is a political directive connected to government funding, which Dixon-Brown might lose she does not comply. This may well reflect the growing political power of ordinary people who are concerned about the environment. Another kind of political power exists within institutional hierarchies, which grant great power to those at the top. This power can be abused. Dixon-Brown also uses her power to have the incriminating email on the university server deleted by Alan Dodd at 2 o'clock in the morning. The convergence of his sexual power with the power of the coal he mines to produce energy is not coincidental. Both kinds of power are exploitative. Harry is a more successful father than he is a husband.
Through family relationships, Rayson provides deeper insights into her characters by giving us access to some of the intimate moments they share. Having an affair? With your secretary or someone? I want to be a housewife. I want to marry you and have babies and live in a house together. This emphasises the importance of a woman's appearance; the same is not the case for the male characters.
What is puzzling, however, is how easily this unsentimental, professional woman is seduced by Harry Jewell, who charms her with his eloquence about the rainforest and his fondness for tiger quolls p 21 Complete Works Theatre Company — Much Ado About Nothing Teachers' Notes This represents female identity as complex, with emotional needs being foreground but also having to be weighed against the sometimes competing demands of ethical and material concerns. The boundaries between these oppositions I blurred in the play and become more complicated as the play progresses.
Stereotypes of Masculinity Harry is defined by his wealth and power. Harry is also sexually experienced and highly predatory. His seduction of Dixon-Brown, and especially of Piper p 61 , makes him look like the archetypal male villain. Andy is the character most committed to the environment, and he shares important values with Piper and Dixon-Brown. His actions, however, are often aligned with the conventional masculine paradigms: historic silence a kind of heroic self-sacrifice about his terminal illness, for example, might be construed as typically masculine p As a result of Andy's refusal to compromise his principles, he alone occupies the moral high ground, which is, as Dixon-Brown points out, a lonely place to be p As the heroic loner, Andy fulfils a traditional male role in his pursuit of a seemingly unattainable ideal.
Some people would think that was compromising. They are too busy paying off the mortgage. The character adhering most uncompromisingly to his values throughout the play is Andy. Rayson suggests that, despite their commendable values, highly committed individuals such as Andy and Piper's mother, Alison, often take such uncompromising ethical positions that they can drive people away p As he deteriorates, Andy becomes more inflexible, literally pushing away both Dixon- Brown and Piper. Diametrically opposed to Andy is Harry, whose economic values not only contaminate the environment, but whose moral values or lack thereof corrupt those to whom Andy is closest.
Harry's economic values are clearly highly beneficial to himself. Despite this, Harry also values the environment, he wants to protect the Otway rainforest and save the tiger quoll from extinction. Harry's apparent interest in environmental issues is intertwined with his personal connection with Otways, and he shows little regard for wider environmental issues. Between the strongly held views of Andy and Harry are the shifting positions of Piper and Dixon-Brown: environmentalists who are swayed by charisma and the persuasive power of Harry.
When she breaks up with Andy she adopts some of Harry's values, reiterating his fine sounding words about believing in his own species p Her ethical position, it seems, fluctuates according to her involvement with either Andy or Harry. She deceives Piper over the incriminating email pp and involves Alan Dodd in unethical behaviour when they delete the email from the university server pp She becomes a symbol of the progressive degradation of a clean environment by a powerful polluting agent. The ending of a work of fiction often reveals the authors values. In the final scene of Extinction, the values of Rayson's characters are either condemned or endorsed - although not unequivocally.
Most sympathetically endorsed is Andy, not simply because he is dying, but because of his self-sacrificing nature and his strong commitment to environmental sustainability. It is these characteristics that Rayson values and asks audiences to value as well. Note that very different interpretations of character can be supported by specific examples of dialogue, generic features, behaviour and events. In Extinction, those with money are clearly able to exert their influence and act in ways that serve their own interests.