The birth of a notion

THE Blue Room Theatre�s latest new work, Under the Sun, arose from the patriotism director, producer and co-devisor Warwick Doddrell felt returning to Australia last year following overseas travels.

After studying theatre and film at Curtin University, the 27-year-old spread his wings to explore life and theatre in the UK before teaching English in Asia.

�Having seen the quality of life people have around the world, I felt immense pride at the quality of life we have in Australia,� Doddrell said.

�I was a bit miffed because just as I came back there was a lot of discussion about boat people and sending the boats back.

�There was a lot of commentary about, if this is what it is to be Australian then I don�t want to be Australian. I found that quite personally affecting because from my international experience, I saw lots of things to be proud about being Australian and others didn�t feel this.�

Doddrell started to explore the birth of the Australian national identity, including the poetry and prose of Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson.

�They were both influential on what we now hold as that old-school idea of Australia � of the swag man, bushrangers � they really romanticised that in pop culture,� Doddrell said.

�We looked at what that image of Australian identity was, why it was important, how it was communicated and then seeing what was the same and different today.�

Under the Sun resulted from that initial creative development and is a production about three 20-somethings, played by Maja Liwszyc, Tristan McInnes and Peter Lane Townsend, who go out and experience the bush for the first time.

�It�s very much spoken from our perspective of being white, middle-class Australians,� Doddrell said.

�Contemporary Australia didn�t happen without the hard work of generations of people struggling against the odds and the elements.

�In today�s urban environment, I want to rekindle and re-examine this connection with the landscape.�

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Under the Sun

Where: The Blue Room Theatre

When: May 19 to June 6

Tickets: www.blueroom.org.au