Arts & Entertainment

The Campaign

Simon Croker. Photo Jasmin Simmons

What began as a community campaign in Tasmania in 1988 and blossomed into the blueprint for Gay Law Reform across Australia, the story of the campaign which resulted in over 100 arrests in Hobart’s Salamanca Markets is being told in Australian playwright Campion Decent’s The Campaign. Presented by the Seymour Centre in collaboration with Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival, the piece tells the story of the fight between people and Parliament to decriminalise homosexuality in the late 80s and is presented in a combination of verbatim and storytelling.

“It’s largely verbatim, I’ve taken a little bit of artistic licence in terms of some of the linkages because you do need to put it into a shape that presents a satisfying dramatic night in the theatre. You want to be able to lead the audience through this story,” said writer, Campion Decent.

“Sometimes when people think verbatim they just think a whole bunch of people standing on stage delivering monologues. I was quite clear that I didn’t want this show to be that kind of experience,” he said. “One of the things that struck me about The Campaign was the chaotic energy that it takes to run a community campaign of that nature, and I wanted to communicate that in the play.”

Campion, who was the director of Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival in the 90s says he’s thrilled The Campaign is being presented as part of this year’s festival.

“I’m thrilled, beyond thrilled that it’s happening in Sydney as part of Mardi Gras because it’s such a culturally appropriate context for the play to be seen in.”

Feb 11-28. Seymour Centre, Corner City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale. $30-$45+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.seymourcentre.com

By Madison Behringer