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'Chaos' and 'Convergence' on the Western Australian goldfields: The politics of performance in the 1890s

Dunstone, B. and Grehan, H.ORCID: 0000-0002-9257-5615 (2017) 'Chaos' and 'Convergence' on the Western Australian goldfields: The politics of performance in the 1890s. Australasian Drama Studies (70). pp. 35-56.


This article adapts Doreen Massey's concept of space as a simultaneity and multiplicity of social relationships 'stretched out' over time, as a lens through which to consider the rapid emergence of a regional theatre sector during the 1890s mining boom on Western Australia's 'default frontier' Eastern Goldfields.In effect, we argue that while the locational surface of Eastern Goldfields theatre production was intensely local in its geographic and cultural specificities, it was also inalienably and reflexively affiliated with metropolitan centres of theatre production and consumption elsewhere in colonial Australia and the wider Anglosphere.We analyse the historical record of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Eastern Goldfields theatre performances to instantiate elements of 'chaos', by which Massey means 'happenstance juxtapositions' of cause and effect in theatre production within and beyond the region.At the same time, we argue that 'chaos' others itself as 'convergence', as local interests sought to consolidate regional control of the 'spatial ordering' of Goldfields theatre production and consumption.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: La Trobe University. Theatre and Drama Program
Copyright: © Copyright 2017 La Trobe University
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