The 1980s - Women
First in a women’s season in 1981 was John McGrath’s Yobbo Nowt re bureaucratic absurdities, the downgrading of working-class women and the liberating effect of political awareness.
In comic book style the play tracks the journey of a naïve Liverpool housewife who learns about the workings of the capitalist system as she tries to get a job. There were Sunday post-show discussions on issues raised by the play. Guest speakers included NT member and UNSW School of Psychology academic Bill Hopes, and Justice Staples of the Arbitration Commission whose topic was the strain of living on a weekly wage of less than $160. Yobbo Nowt was given a second production in 1985 with an all NT member cast.
First Class Women, written by Nick Enright for the New, concerned the exploitation and repression of female convicts in the Parramatta Female Factory where life on the inside was possibly worse than outside the institution. Women and girls there were divided into three categories; those in the first class might get a ticket of leave and be assigned as servants.
Just Talk (Apart from the Songs) by Sydney writer Laurel McGowan examining male/female relations was directed by Beverly Blankenship and choreographed by Gill Falson in 1985.