Oceania

Opening Night: A Speech for an Australian Prime Minister

The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt speaks with the writer of a new play that probes Australian politics.

Luke Hunt
Opening Night: A Speech for an Australian Prime Minister
Credit: Luke Hunt

The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt speaks with the writer and star of a new play that focuses on the extremities of Australian politics

Australian playwright Ross Mueller has captured the nuances of politics down under with his latest effort I Can’t Even, starring the actor and social commentator Rhys Muldoon as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who shares the role with the actress Louise Siversen on alternate nights.

The play is timely given Turnbull has declared an election will likely be held on July 2.

I Can’t Even is an honest speech written by Mueller that answers: What is going through the tangled mind of Turnbull? What can he say, what can’t he say, and what does he wish he could say?

The backdrop is also colored by the disruption to this nation’s political cycles caused by the ousting of prime ministers Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott by their respective political parties before elections were due.

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Also prevalent are Australian attitudes to Asia, which date back 25 years to the Asian agenda established by former leader Paul Keating, the importance of state politics and the emergence of harsh right-wing attitudes.

Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter @lukeanthonyhunt.