Despite the tremendous strides made in recent years by Australian theatre and despite the dozen or more dedicated and professional playwrights which this has helped support there is nevertheless a greater sense of expectation than achievement in most public response to the plays and playwrights which have emerged. Distinctive, even distinguished, plays and writers can be found but there still seems to be a feeling that Australian theatre has not emerged from the age of promise into the age of fulfilment. This response is even more strongly reflected in the disappointed response of much literary criticism which still seems to feel that drama lags behind poetry and prose fiction both in the level of achievement and in the comparative Jack of distinctive and innovative forms.



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