Clem Gorman


I was born in Perth and began my university education at UWA, before traveling to Sydney to develop my career.  I completed my BA at Sydney University and, after pioneering experimental theatre in this country, I moved to London for the 70s, where I explored performance art , and worked as an arts administrator.  I began writing plays, which took off in Australia, so I returned and worked for ten years as a freelance playwright, nine of my plays being staged professionally. I then entered academe to teach creative writing here, and Australian Studies in the US, achieving tenure and a doctorate. I am now developing a career as a singer/songwriter.


General Overview of My Plays.

Most of my plays are dramas, including my best known, A Manual of Trench Warfare, set in Gallipoli, and The Harding Women, about women emerging from under the power of a patriarch. I adapted A Fortunate Life for the stage, and also wrote my only comedy, A Night in the Arms of Raeleen.  The past looms large in my work, and I have examined war, teenage angst, the Outsider, family hierarchies, and the criminal underworld in The Last Nightclub. My current work examines the corrupting influence of wealth. My plays are naturalistic, but as a critic said, they push the boundaries of naturalism.