2008 Inductee: David Williamson

David Williamson is Australia’s best known and most widely performed playwright. His first full-length play, The Coming Of Stork, was presented at La Mama Theatre in 1970 and was followed quickly by The Removalists and Don’s Party in 1971. His prodigious output since then includes Jugglers Three, What If You Died Tomorrow?, The Department, A Handful of Friends, The Club, Travelling North, Celluloid Heroes, The Perfectionist, Sons of Cain, Emerald City, Top Silk, Siren, Money and Friends, Brilliant Lies, Sanctuary, Dead White Males, Heretic, Third World Blues, After the Ball, Corporate Vibes, Face to Face, The Great Man, Up For Grabs, Soulmates, Charitable Intent, Birthrights, Amigos, Flatfoot, Operator, Influence and Lotte’s Gift.

His plays have been translated into many languages and performed internationally including major productions in London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. As a screenwriter, David has brought to the screen his own plays, The Coming Of Stork (filmed as Stork), The Removalists, Don’s Party, The Club, Travelling North, EmeraldCity, Sanctuary and Brilliant Lies. He has also written original screenplays for the feature film Libido, Petersen, Eliza Fraser, Duet for Four, Gallipoli, Phar Lap and The Year Of Living Dangerously.

His television scripts include The Perfectionist, the miniseries The Last Bastion, A Dangerous Life and The Four-Minute Mile and the series DogsHeadBay. David wrote the telemovie adaptation of Neville Shute’s On The Beach, screened in the US for Showtime. The series was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won the AFI Best Miniseries Award. David’s directing credits include Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and John Power’s The Last Of The Knucklemen for State Theatre of South Australia and his Sons Of Cain for Melbourne Theatre Company, which toured nationally.

In 1971 he became the first person outside Britain to receive the George Devine Award (for The Removalists). Subsequently, among numerous other awards, his work has been recognised with the 1973 London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising New Playwright of the Year, the Australian Writers’ Guild Awgie Award (11 times), the Australian Film Institute’s Award for Best Screenplay (four times) and, in 1966, the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award. In 2005 he received the Richard Lane Award for Services to the Australian Writers’ Guild.

David has been named one of Australia’s Living National Treasures.

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