David Williamson

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David Keith Williamson, AO, BE, HonDLitt (born 19 or 24 February 1942) is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.

Biography[edit]

David Williamson was born in Melbourne in 1942 and was brought up in Bairnsdale. Sources are divided as to whether he was born on 19 February or 24 February. He initially studied mechanical engineering at the University of Melbourne from 1960, but left and graduated from Monash University. His early forays into the theatre were as an actor and writer of skits for the Engineers' Revue at Melbourne University's Union Theatre at lunchtime during the early 1960s.

After a stint as a lecturer for Swinburne University, he turned to writing plays in 1967.

Williamson rose to prominence in the early 1970s, with works such as Don's Party (later turned into a 1976 film), a comic drama set during the 1969 federal election; and The Removalists (1971). He also collaborated on the screenplays for Gallipoli (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). Williamson's work as a playwright focuses on themes of politics, loyalty and family in contemporary urban Australia, particularly in two of its major cities, Melbourne and Sydney.

Major works include The Club, The Department, Travelling North, The Perfectionist, Emerald City, Money and Friends and Brilliant Lies.

Recent work has included Dead White Males, a satirical approach to postmodernism and university ethics; Up for Grabs, which starred Madonna in its London premiere; and the Jack Manning Trilogy (Face To Face, Conversation, Charitable Intent) which take as their format community conferencing, a new form of restorative justice, in which Williamson became interested in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In recent years he has alternated work between larger stages (including Soul Mates, Amigos and Influence - all premiered with the Sydney Theatre Company) and smaller ones (including the Manning trilogy, Flatfoot and Operator, which premiered at the Ensemble Theatre). However, in 2005, he announced his retirement from main-stage productions.

Williamson was instrumental in the founding of the Noosa Longweekend Festival, a cultural festival in Noosa, Queensland.

In August 2006 Cate Molloy, former Australian Labor Party member of the Queensland Parliament for Noosa, announced that Williamson would be her campaign manager as she sought to recontest her seat as an Independent.

In 2007 appeared Lotte's Gift, a one-woman show starring Karin Schaupp, which traced a journey through Schaupp's own life as well as those of her mother and grandmother (the Lotte of the title)

More information can be found at his Official Website David Williamson

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Kristin Williamson (sister of independent filmmaker Chris Löfvén) and lives on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. His stepson Felix Williamson and his son Rory Williamson are both Australian actors. Rory starred as Stork in the 2001 revival of The Coming of Stork at the Stables Theatre in Sydney, produced by Felix's company, the Bare Naked Theatre Company.

Honours and awards[edit]

Australian Film Institute Awards[edit]

  • 1977 - AFI Award, Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted, 'Don's Party'
  • 1981 - AFI Award, Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted, 'Gallipoli'
  • 1987 - AFI Award, Best Screenplay, Adapted, 'Travelling North'[3]
  • 2009 - AFI Award, Best Screenplay, Adapted, 'Balibo' (Shared with director Robert Connolly)

Writings[edit]

Plays[edit]

Box office revenue of plays[edit]

Sydney Theatre Company box office revenue from David Williamson plays:

  • 1982 — The Perfectionist $357,088
  • 1985 — Sons of Cain $382,771
  • 1987 — Emerald City $707,918
  • 1990 — Siren $624,626
  • 1992 — Money and Friends $1.221 million
  • 1993 — Brilliant Lies $851,000
  • 1995 — Dead White Males $1.184 million
  • 1996 — Heretic $1.29 million
  • 1997 — Third World Blues $771,822
  • 1998 — After the Ball $1.132 million
  • 1999 — Corporate Vibes $1.409 million
  • 2000 — The Great Man $1.289 million
  • 2001 — Up for Grabs $1.25 million
  • 2002 — Soulmates $1.333 million
  • 2003 — The Club $1.387 million (remake)
  • 2004 — Amigos $1.405 million
  • 2005 — Influence $1.719 million

Screenplays[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]