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World Premiere of Williamson play

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World Premiere of Williamson play

Noosa Arts Theatre brings to the stage the latest work from a much-applauded Australian playwright.

Much-loved Australian playwright David Williamson has been contributing to the world of theatre since the 1970s.

Williamson is the most-produced playwright in Australian theatre history and his plays continue to attract strong audiences and box office revenue for venues around the country.

Over the years, he has written close to 60 plays, as well as numerous film scripts and television series.

Ahead of his latest work, Aria, at Noosa Arts Theatre, Williamson chatted with the team at My Weekly Preview about how he creates masterpieces for the stage.

Living on the Sunshine Coast, Williamson is patron of the Noosa Arts Theatre where his works keep the age-old art of stage performance alive locally.

Aria is directed by breakfast radio host Sam Coward and is being performed now until May 12.

What is Aria about? Aria is the story of a very strong and domineering mother who believes she has three perfect sons. She also believes that their wives are not worthy of her precious boys. So, for years, she has given the wives hell. The worst day for them is the annual celebration of her three sons’ birthdays at which she makes a speech praising them and not too subtly putting down the wives. Then, she makes them endure an opera aria to remind them all that, according to her, she was on her way to becoming a famous diva, but looking after her boys was more important. She says she sacrificed everything for them.  This year, however, the wives have finally had enough. And the ensuing family brawl isn’t pretty but it is blackly funny and a reminder that all families harbour delusions and sometimes behave badly. Very badly.

What can audiences expect? I think audiences can expect to recognise the family tensions we all experience from time to time. I do hope they find it truthful, sad and funny.

How long did you work on this story for? it? I usually take about six months to finish a play with a lot of redrafting. Writing, someone wisely said, is actually rewriting.

Do you have a writing process? A fast first draft to infuse it with energy and momentum and then, as I said, a lot of refining. I’ll often do over 10 drafts.

Do you have a career highlight or fond memory from over the years? Lots of them. I’ve led a very fortunate life in that so many of my plays have been produced and produced well with some of the finest actors and directors working on them. Just recently the standing ovation I received at the start of my play The Great Divide in Sydney was a great moment.  Aria is actually my 2025 Sydney play but Mark Kilmurry, who will direct, let me have an out-of-town tryout when I assured him Noosa Arts Theatre did top-class productions. And I’m sure with Sam Coward directing, this will be no exception.

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