The Joy of Text

A and I used to go to the theatre often. Indeed, being a student in Melbourne meant that you had access to fabulous student theatre and cheap ticket deals at all the right theatre companies. As a treat ( and this was a special treat) A bought us tickets to the MTC’s production of Robert Reid’s The Joy of Text.

I had no idea what it was about but it did not matter. We had made it to the city by evening, in time to eat in Fed Square and see some theatre. Wow.

We were both delighted by Reid’s play – maybe it had something to do with the fact that we had both been involved with student theatre – years ago – and maybe the fact that the play was about teachers, literary theory and student teacher relationships, also resonated with me. There were references to grammar, semiotics, post modernism, deconstruction and Helen Garner’s The First Stone, plagiarism and satire and the subjectivity of truth.

I was amused that the promotional poster ran the byline – Education, it is a blood sport. Given the chaos of ideas, interpretations and relationships that unfold in Reid’s play, maybe it is just that. There will be winners and losers. There will be inspiration and confusion. But in the end – the student moves on, leaves the school and enters the real world. Ready or not.

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