Williamson Wednesday: FACE TO FACE

25 Mar 2020

Missing your David Williamson fix? Don’t worry, because Williamson Wednesday is here and we’ve got you sorted! Each week, we’ll be dipping into the archives to bring you exciting insights into some of the plays of Australia’s legendary theatre playwright.

To kick off our first Williamson Wednesday, we’re taking a dive into Ensemble Theatre’s first David Williamson premier ever… FACE TO FACE.

“One of Williamson’s most important and innovative [plays]” John Shand

Written by David especially for Ensemble Theatre and directed by Sandra Bates in 1999 and then again in 2014, FACE TO FACE was the first of his JACK MANNING TRILOGY. Fascinated by the idea of community conferencing, FACE TO FACE offered an “exploration of conflict in the workplace and the humanity and compromise required to overcome it” (Daily Telegraph).

In this story of rivalry and alliances with secrets bubbling away just beneath the surface, we followed Glen, a young construction worker who rams into the back of his boss’s prized Mercedes in a fit of anger after being sacked. Instead of heading straight to court, he is given the opportunity to discuss his actions in a community conference. This character-driven social satire ultimately celebrated the strength of community over our rigid and often seemingly unjust court system.

“It does offer an intriguing look into social conflict. Williamson… has the ability to tap into the zeitgeist” (Daily Review)

Pictured: FACE TO FACE 1999

In 2014, Artistic Director Sandra Bates revisited the work and staged a new production at The Concourse, Chatswood. With “Williamson… in his best form writing the heartfelt, emotional and witty dialogue” (Sydney Arts Guide), this complex tale was brought to life with Ensemble Theatre regulars including Glenn Hazeldine and Jamie Oxenbould.

Pictured: FACE TO FACE at The Concourse in 2014

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