Dead White Males at Cronulla

Dead White Males at Cronulla

Arts Theatre Cronulla has kicked off its 2023 season with David Williamson’s comedy, Dead White Males. Williamson, Australia’s best known and most widely performed playwright, wrote this 1995 play in response to an academic paper on post-structuralism that he found incomprehensible.

The ‘dead white males’ of the title are the great writers and thinkers of the past to whose works Western society has traditionally turned to as representations of universal human values. The most prominent of these is William Shakespeare, who features throughout the play as a character seeking to defend the reputation of his works while trying to make sense of the modern world.

University student Angela finds her worldview being expanded in a literary theory class, which proclaims that all our realities are shaped and controlled by the dominant liberal humanist ideology. Williamson takes on Shakespeare, academia, feminism, the patriarchy, and liberalism, satirising the poststructuralist literary theories of the late 20th century. The theoretical world is juxtaposed with the real world of Angela’s family, as she comes to learn the importance of thinking for herself, and that not everything is as black or white as some would want her to believe.

Director Michael Gooley has choreographed the magical appearance of the wedding scene from As You Like It and the apotheosis of her grandfather as he transmutes into King Lear. These elements give the play a theatricality while maintaining the truthfulness of the characters. 

The production runs until 25 March, 2023. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8.00pm. Sundays 19 and 26 February, and 12 and 19 March at 2.00pm.

Tickets are $30/$27 and can be booked online via the theatre’s website:


Angela Judd: Liz Vassilacos

William Shakespeare: Peter David Allison

Grant Swain: Alex Amditis

Melissa: Indianna Erickson

Steve: Bryce Grover

Col Judd: Emmanuel Nicolaou

Grace Judd: Allanah Jarman

Martin Judd: Gary Clark

Sarah Judd: Margaret Short

Jessica Squires: Michelle Erickson

Monica Judd: Jodianne Kanagias

Photo credits: Port Hacking Camera Club

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