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The Apologists

"the ultimate act of solo performance"

Three stories examine the meaning of the act of apology and the complex power plays at work.

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The Apologists

Date: 17 Nov 2020

A Secretary of State for Health and Social Care makes a racist comment to her attending doctor when her child is rushed into hospital.

A prominent travel writer is held responsible for a suicide after a scathing review.

An employee of an aid organisation demands the recompense she truly needs from the CEO after a disingenuous public apology.

After a highly successful tour of the UK, Unlikely Productions is bringing The Apologists to Sydney.

Written by Lucinda Burnett, Cordelia O’Neill and Iskandar Sharazuddin, The Apologists presents three topical stories which, when combined, provide a powerful examination of the meaning of the act of apology, the complex power play at work between the giver and the receiver of an apology, and whether we are responsible for the context of our actions.

Performed by Gabrielle Scawthorn, each solo story focuses on a female character, a high-profile woman, and the issues raised also shine a light on gender inequality and social justice.

“In many ways, the public apology is the ultimate act of solo performance,” says Scawthorn. “We see so many acts of public apologies these days. You only have to read or hear the news to find public apology, or in some cases non-apology, all the time. Prince Andrew, The Pope, Justin Timberlake.

“We are constantly deconstructing the authenticity of this act, the way one might deconstruct a piece of theatre. The public apology is a performative reckoning in the age of performative politics.”

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