The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






David Williamson

David Williamson (born 19 February, 1942) is one of Australia's most well-known playwrights who has also developed screenplays for film and television. Williamson was born in Melbourne but brought up in Bairnsdale, Victoria. He initially studied mechanical engineering at Monash University from which he graduated in 1964 and worked briefly as an engineer for General Motors Holden. 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 (1971) (later turned into a 1976 film), 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.

Recent work has included Dead White Males, which deals with 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 in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13