‘“Less is More”: The power of one in writing for women’s solo performance’.

Osborne, Deirdre. 2022. ‘“Less is More”: The power of one in writing for women’s solo performance’. In: Patricia Cornelius and Benjamin Nichol, eds. RUNT and kerosene. Sydney, Australia: Currency Press, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9781760628000 [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

This critical edition confirms how theatre remains a provocative platform by which to disturb complacent verities about class and opportunity. The Introduction examines RUNT by foremost feminist playwright Patricia Cornelius, and kerosene by newcomer Benjamin Nichol who offer searing explorations into those lives that are ‘seen and not heard’ in culture and society. It explores how the dramas represent life’s daily battlefield for those people (de)formed by the class, economic and gendered expectations which circumscribe citizens’ lives, deeming who is valuable, who is disposable, and who is not recognised as possessing any viable social status at all. It observes how both plays had their geneses during the lockdown periods imposed by the co-vid pandemic, a point in global history that presented unprecedented conditions and restrictions for negotiating life and art. Housed within the compelling form that monodrama offers, of the smallest possible cast, these characters are conduits to representing experiences and perspectives seldom seen on stage. They take readers and audiences across an exacting and exhilarating dramatic arc, to deliver epics of the dispossessed, in which obsession and revenge, anger and shame, form a potent cocktail in contexts of unquenchable neediness.

Item Type:

Book Section


monodrama, class, status, dispossession, shame, women's solo performance, Australian drama

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


October 2022Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2023 12:14

Last Modified:

03 Jan 2023 12:14



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)