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Alexander Buzo interviewed by Frank Heimans [sound recording]
Bib ID 740150
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Buzo, Alexander, 1944-2006, Interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2001 
4 digital audio tapes (225 min.) 

Buzo, playwright, novelist and writer, speaks of his family's Albanian and Australian background and their interrelationships, influence of Al and Amy Morrison, growing up in Australia in the 1950's, the influence of various teachers, his education at Ecolink, an international school in Geneva, in 1961, his return in 1962 to enrol at the University of NSW where he majored in history, then undertook a Masters at the Australian National University, in 1966 he joined the New Theatre as an actor, how from an encounter with a Pakistani friend in a bar he was inspired to write his first play Norm and Ahmed, his work with director Tony Richardson on the script for the film Ned Kelly, differences in writing for the theatre and film, Australian playwrights wrote for small independent theatres like the Nimrod during the 1960s, the notoriety of Norm and Ahmed arising for the police arrest of the actor because his character Norm violently punches Ahmed, the reactions of critics to his play Rooted, why The Front Room Boys were a success in London.

Buzo explains the success of his play Macquarie, the theme of his play Tom, the controversy aroused by his play Coralie Lansdowne Says No, the widespread offence at his satirising values in the play Martello Towers, how David Hill, former ABC Managing Director, sued him for defamation because he felt one of the characters in his 1978 play Makassar Reef was based on him, how the failure of his 1980 play Big River made him end his playwright career and write books instead throughout the 1980s such as a Tautology, A Dictionary of the Almost Obvious, Kiwese, nevertheless he wrote three plays in the 1980s, his 1995 play Pacific Union was too long and too much like a history lesson but a two-hour version was performed, feels his use of irony and satire is much misunderstood, the rewriting of Norm & Ahmed to become Normie and Tuan about a Vietnam War veteran and a Vietnamese migrant, how actors will edit certain characters particulary those with flaws, his views on contemporary Australian theatre.


Recorded on Jan. 25, 2001 at Queens Dark, N.S.W.

Also available online

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary available and corrected transcript (typescript, 78 leaves). 
Subjects Buzo, Alexander, 1944-2006. -- Interviews.  |  Satire, Australian -- 20th century.  |  Dramatists, Australian -- Interviews.  |  Theater -- Australia -- 20th century.  |  Satirists -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Authors, Australian -- Interviews.
Occupation Dramatists.
Other authors/contributors Heimans, Frank, 1943-, Interviewer

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Details Collect From
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 4657 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 4657 (summary)
Copy: Summary
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