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Long before he was awarded the Nobel prize in literature in 1973 for an “epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature”, novelist Patrick White tried to divert Australian theatre from its naturalistic path into something more surreal.

His first play, The Ham Funeral, written in 1947, was based on an incident painted by William Dobell, whose landlord had died.

In 2007, on a lonely stretch of the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, a lone female driver rolled her car. She remained trapped for 36 hours, unseen by fellow motorists because the car was hidden behind scrub.

The woman was saved and although Brisbane-born, Darwin-based playwright Mary Anne Butler never met her, the driver inspired Butler’s play Broken, in which one of a trio characters - Ash, an environmental biologist - rolls her car in the Central Desert.

Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

On sale at Amazon and iTunes.

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