David Williamson

David Williamson

David Williamson is one of Australia's most well-known playwrights who has also developed screenplays for film and television.

David Keith Williamson was born (19 February 1942) in Melbourne, initially studied mechanical engineering at Monash University. After graduating in 1964, he worked briefly as an engineer for General Motors Holden, then 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, a comic drama set during an Australian federal election; and The Removalists (1971). He also collaborated on the screenplays for Gallipoli (1980) 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 its two 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 which Wiliamson 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 a cultural festival in Noosa, Queensland, titled Noosa Longweekend Festival.

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

He is married to Kristin Williamson (sister of independent filmmaker Chris Löfvén) and lives on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. His step-son Felix Williamson and his son Rory Williamson are both successful 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 Naked Theatre Company.

David Williamson Plays

The Coming of Stork (1970)
The Removalists (1971)
Don's Party (1971)
Jugglers Three (1972)
What If You Died Tomorrow? (1973)
The Department (1975)
A Handful of Friends (1976)
The Club (1977)
Travelling North (1979)
Celluoid Heroes (1980)
The Perfectionist (1982)
Sons of Cain (1985)
Emerald City (1987)
Top Silk (1989)
Siren (1990)
Money and Friends (1991)
Brilliant Lies (1993)
Sanctuary (1994)
Dead White Males (1995)
Heretic (1996)
Third World Blues (1997, An Adaptation Of Jugglers Three)
After The Ball (1997)
Corporate Vibes (1999)
Face to Face (2000)
The Great Man (2000)
Up For Grabs (2001)
A Conversation (2001)
Charitable Intent (2001)
Soulmates (2002)
Amigos (2004)
Influence (2005)

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