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The Department (play)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Department
Written byDavid Williamson
Date premiered15 November 1974
Place premieredThe Playhouse Adelaide
Original languageEnglish

The Department is a 1974 play by David Williamson about political intrigue at a university department.[1] It was based on Williamson's time as a lecturer at Swinburne Tech.[2]

Williamson wrote it for the South Australian Theatre Company. It premiered in 1974 at the opening of a new playhouse, then transferred to Melbourne and Sydney.[3]

TV Adaptation

The Department
Directed byBrian Bell
Produced byNoel Ferrier
Written byDavid Williamson
Based onthe play by David Williamson
StarringRichard Moir
Barbara Stephens
Peter Sumner
John Ewart
Australian Broadcasting Commission
Release date
Running time

The play was adapted into a TV movie in 1980 which was produced by Noel Ferrier as part of the Australian Theatre Festival.[4][5]



The Canberra Times called it "a poorly constructed exercise".[6]

The Age called it "a success... some remarkable goods."[7] Another reviewer from that paper called it "an excellent production".[8]

The Sydney Morning Herald critic said "it's a long time since I've seen a better sustained performance in a locally produced TV play."[9]

Jack Hibberd, who play A Toast of Melba was also filmed as part of the Festival, called it 'dreary, mundane. Awesomely so. I'm not impressed by that 'slice of life' realism style. It's just theatrical journalism."[10]


  1. ^ "Australian theatre: the playwrights' views". The Canberra Times. 49 (14, 068). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 17 May 1975. p. 11. Retrieved 2 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Cochrane, Peter (14 March 1997). "Williamson's World". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 15.
  3. ^ "New Williamson play". The Canberra Times. 50 (14, 225). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 17 November 1975. p. 13. Retrieved 2 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p43
  5. ^ "'Pilgrim's Progress' to Canberra in July". The Canberra Times. 54 (16, 248). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 21 March 1980. p. 11. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "TELEVISION An affectionate play". The Canberra Times. 54 (16, 394). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 14 August 1980. p. 14. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Courts, Brian (25 July 1980). "Waiting for Williamson". The Age. p. 2.
  8. ^ McCreadie, Jane (24 July 1980). "Play's TV Version Adopts Stage Simplicity". The Age. p. 38.
  9. ^ Semmler, Clement (30 July 1980). "Semmler on Television". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 8.
  10. ^ McCreadie, Jane (31 July 1980). "Dame Nellie Melba in Counterpoint". The Age. p. 30.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 June 2020, at 05:58
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