Hello and welcome to the set of ‘the removalists. ’ Congratulations for you are the lucky people that have made it through the auditions. After reading through the script some of you may be wondering * Is law and order based on violence? And * Do all Australians have aggressive instincts? That is why today we will be focusing on one of the later scenes in Act two, I have chosen this particular scene for today because it represents and portrays the corruption and violence of the Australian culture.
But firstly a bit of background information, ‘The Removalists’ was written by David Williamson and was first performed in 1971, it is a humorous play that focuses on the violence issues amongst society in the early seventies and represents different aspects of the Australian Culture such as the classic ‘laid-back’ attitude, sexism and of course violence.
Every character in this play represents a different part of society, for example ‘Sergeant Simmonds’ who is described as ‘fat and fiftyish’ represents police corruption and abuse of power whereas ‘Fiona Carter’ the victim in this play represents the feminist movement of the time and the changing roles of men and women in society. Even though the play only displays workplace and domestic violence, violence is all through the Australian culture and is even socially acceptable such as at sporting events where fans trying to support their team challenge supporters of the opposing team which in some cases include violent threats and attacks.
The Australian culture also promotes violence by celebrating and commemorating ‘Anzac Day’ which is a day in memory of one of the most brutal wars in history. The vulgar slang used in this play also contributes to the Australian values and attitudes of the time. The scene we will be rehearsing today is hands-down the most violent scene in the play, it includes the bashing of ‘Kenny’ who is just an everyday working class Australian Larrikin.
Kenny gets bashed by Constable Ross who is living his first day on the police force and claims he just ‘lost control’ when he pretty much beats Kenny to death, this bashing however was not spontaneous, Ross is heavily influenced by his superior Constable Simmonds who is encouraging Ross to give Kenny a good beating after Kenny had given the both of them a hard time all day with violent hreats and acts. Constable Simmonds also gives Ross advice on the situation by saying things such as ‘don’t let him get away’ and ‘just hit him on the chin and you should be right. ’ In this scene the audience will see the distrust and abuse of authority and also witness police violence and corruption
David Williamson has cleverly constructed this scene by using dramatic techniques to keep the audience interested such as continuing the fight with Ross and Kenny off stage with only loud blows and crashes able to be heard and having Ross walk back on stage panting and covered in blood leaving the audience wondering what has happened to Kenny and allowing them to use their imagination In this scene we will have the spotlight focused on Kenny and Ross during the beating with a brief shift part-way through onto constable Simmonds showing his grinning, encouraging and approving face.
By highlighting this scene with the spotlight it will enable the audience to focus on the key concepts that this scene will unravel Sergeant Simmonds is a bully and a brute and his major flaw is his excessive pride and self confidence, he is the main character in this play and his characterization is achieved through his costume, actions and slang. He is violent and corrupt and the way the audience view him stays the same throughout the whole play ‘The Removalists is a black comedy that is still just as valuable to produce today because of its humor and interesting characters.
It also gives us an idea of what times were like back in the seventies when it was written Because of strict laws and policies police violence is not such a problem as it was in the seventies and therefore law and order in society in not based on violence as much as it was and to say Australians have violent instincts is a generalisation which can be argued depending on the example That is all I have to say for now so can everyone please get into their positions ready to start rehearsing