White With Wire Wheels

This is jack’s first play and was produced at the University of Melbourne in 1967 (directed by David Kendall), enjoying a huge success. It had productions around Australia in the following two years, all professional. W4 sparked a surge in fresh Australian drama, especially within Melbourne.

The is a satire on male herd behaviour. The thee male characters are obsessed with cars, beer, their careers, and in a fashion, women.. Early on the relationships with their girlfriends break up, and the men don’t come out of these ruptures at all well. A fourth woman, sets them up, and exposes their paper-thin masculinity. The four women must be played by the same actress, giving the audience a sense of womanhood on stage.

Below the satire on male conduct, White With Wire Wheels is a female revenge play, and has been described by some critics as a ‘proto-feminist’ play.

MAL: Root my boot and shag my shoe. What a night
MAL: You give up?
SUE: I give up.
MAL: The big event for 1967. (pause) Tomorrow I pick up my new Valiant!
MAL: It’s white
SUE: White!
MAL: White with wire wheels.
ROD: She’s arranged to go out with all of us tonight.
HELEN: I’ve come to say goodbye.
& ROD (together):
HELEN: I thought you’d understand.
& ROD (together):
But we don’t.

“This is a pungent and rollicking social satire of male conduct, of larrikin obsessions, and concludes with a vicious sting in its tail.”

- Patrick McCaughey (The Age, 1967)

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