Writer’s Note: Melanie Tait, A BROADCAST COUP

17 Jan 2023

A few months after the first lockdown in 2020, I was talking with one of my friends about the fate of A BROADCAST COUP. The play was in its first week of rehearsal the week the world changed and we were shut down.

He said something interesting regarding male sexual harassment and misconduct, along the lines of “Do you think the play is still relevant? Don’t you think men have got the message post Me Too?”

At the time, we were still deep in the beginning of the pandemic – before vaccines, when survival wasn’t guaranteed. I took on this question and thought about it a lot.

In writing this play, I wanted to explore the grey areas of life after the 2017 #MeToo reckoning. Relationships and people who are messy. I hoped we might be able to figure out together, as theatre makers and an audience, where our responsibilities lie with our fellow human beings in the workplace. A public radio studio is a workplace I know intimately, but this story could play out in any office in Australia.

I would love A BROADCAST COUP to be irrelevant. Like my first play, THE APPLETON LADIES’ POTATO RACE, about the gender pay gap, it’s my dream it becomes a museum piece of theatre. In fact, I think I alluded to something similar in my playwright’s note for that play too when it premiered at Ensemble in 2019.

In December, yet another media star was sacked from his job in Sydney after harassing colleagues at a Christmas party, after over twenty years of this sort of behaviour (allegedly). I suspect we’ll be having the conversation within this play for a while to come.

– Melanie Tait

Don’t miss A BROADCAST COUP, by Melanie Tait and directed by Janine Watson, on stage 26 Jan – 4 Mar.