Contemporary Australian Theatre Deconstruction; a Beautiful Life by Michael Futcher and Helen Howard

2145 Words Feb 20th, 2012 9 Pages
A Beautiful Life
A Beautiful Life written by Michael Futcher and Helen Howard in 1998 is a brave piece of contemporary Australian Theatre, exploring the controversial and much debated issue of immigration in Australia, while providing a highly symbolic, poignant and emotional experience for the audience. This play is based on the memories of an Iranian refugee (Hamid), his wife (Jhila) and their son (Amir) who settled in Australia in the 1980s, focusing on how their cultural background ultimately leads to their persecution by the Australian Government. As this play is told from their perspective, the audience is encouraged to empathise with the plight of refugees in Australia. Through the use of many interesting theatrical techniques, such
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It is through the use of these theatrical techniques that A Beautiful Life can connect with audiences and provide them with the idea that the Australian Government is prejudice towards refugees and therefore empathise with the adversity Hamid and Jhila experience.
Another cultural issue that is the focus of A Beautiful Life is prejudices towards refugees and racism in Australia. The character of Brendan (one of Hamid’s lawyers) embodies the Australian attitude towards refugees, often making rude, racist and ignorant remarks, “BRENDAN: It’s a pity we don’t speak Arab/JHILA: Is Farsi/BRENDAND: Same difference” (Act One, Scene 5). Through workshops in class I came to realise that the character of Brendan was extremely important in conveying the prevalence of racism in Australia and also the ignorance many Australians have towards the struggle of refugees in Australia. Brendan is an extremely important character, as he is the one who develops most. By the end of the play the audience can see that his attitude towards Hamid and Jhila has changed completely and uses all his power to try and stop the unfair persecution by the Australian Government. “It’s not a life he takes for granted.” (Act Two, Scene 12). Through the use of dialogue the audience can see that Brendan cares for Hamid and Jhila. The use of this character arc by the

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