The Silence Of The Williamsons (5)

Only one correspondent in the past nine weeks has defended David and Kristin Williamson against the charge of limelight-hogging and drama-queening at the expense of fifty-nine writers of better plays than his at his best, a man called ‘Bob’ who seemed unusually well acquainted with their financial details.

I asked him to identify himself; and he disappeared from these columns. I asked if he were David; no answer.

I now suggest the strong possibility that he is, was, David; and I warn him of the laws against impersonating another, and the gaoling for it that sometimes, not always, occurs, depending on the jurisdiction. In Queensland, where they hanged rapists well into the 1960s, they might well be very severe.

I ask again ‘Bob’ to identify himself.

And David to say how much money he has.

Leave a comment ?


  1. I’m not David Williamson. I’m not that well versed with his financial arrangements, from memory all I said was he would have paid a fair amount of tax over the years. I’m not going to tell you who I am because on this one you should play the ball not the man - and because it feels as though you’re trying to bully me into it, which is annoying.

    I am really enjoying your columns (though you promised to put up one about cricket and you haven’t yet), you are one of the few film and theatre critics in this country worth reading. I also wish you’d done a dialogue polish on the film “Red Dog” which I saw the other night and think could have used your touch, and that you would get around to writing the book I feel you were put on this earth to do more than any other - that is, an unofficial history of the Labor Party in this country. (You’ve already got material a lot of it.) Now a Williamson wouldn’t say something like that.

    All the best

    Not a Williamson

    • God, this is so David Williamson.

      Who else but he would not want to be known as his admirer?

      Where’s the harm?

      It’s him, I’d say.

      I can tell by the shifty, sonorous flattery.

  2. Bob
    I have had the pleasure of knowing the Williamsons for over fifteen years, and they have never been anything other than gracious and generous in their praise and support for others. I am proud to call them my friends.
    Nicholas Hammond

    • I’m sure they are. This was never the question. What I asked was if they had done enough with their tens millions for the fifty-nine playwrights they and the theatre managements and funding bodies had impoverished and who had written better plays than David’s best, at least a hundred and four of them, which I listed.

      It’s a fair question, and they have refused to answer it.

      Do you think they should have answered it? Or is it none of the fifty-nine better playwrights’ business?

  3. No, he isn’t David : I’ve read David’s prose and “Bob” writes with a much better flow.

    As for his suggestion, go for it, Robert Ellis.

    • Yeah, okay. I have to type it up, or my wife does.

      Give us a few days.

    • Doug Quixote has read the prose!

      But have you answered that question yet?

      • Maryellen: You have said that nurses in retirement homes treat people according to the nurses like/dislikes, which is of course suggesting that these nurses are unprofessional.
        Do you stand by that opinion?
        Do you put that in the advertising for these retirement homes?

        • F.I. Kendall, It wasn’t an opinion. Likes/dislikes? It’s also about caring whether you’re giving offence.
          As for “advertising”, I’d say: “Keep your lovely mothers, and fathers too, as long as you possibly can; don’t consign them to the sidelines too early - it’s an unnatural way to live”. No room in the big houses? Deaf ears? Society. “We are where we are”?

          Now if I had Gina R’s money, I’d have a nursing home with a segregated dementia unit, for one thing. It’s not good for three men to live, shut up, amongst twenty women. The men plead for the exit door code.
          That’s my opinion.

          I visited here a few weeks back looking for a review on a film!
          But it’s mainly politics.

          • MaryEllen: I finally got to see “In Bruges” on DVD lst night.

            Waiting for Godot meets Father Ted meets The Sopranos.

            Two and a half stars.

          • Who has the dementia, the men or the women? Do men really hate women’s company? My nan was tucked away with a dementia sufferer but in the end she must have grown quite fond as she died a day or two after her roommate. After a lifetime of pain, it seems that’s what did her in.

            I work in residential aged care. You like some more than others but when the blood hits the wall, you try to save everyone.

  4. Hey Bob

    Billions of people post on the Internet under pseudonyms, nom de plumes if you like. I found it a bit silly threatening “Bob” with the law. There’s no law saying you have to identify who you are. It might be an issue the other way around, if someone tried to impersonate you or Williamson. But Williamson can be “Bob”, if indeed that is what is happening. It’s not illegal and it makes the Internet fun.

  5. Bob Ellis is probably right - that last sentence.
    I would’ve left it out.

    Unfrightened fans should show up shortly.

  6. Bob,Imagine if David Williamson showed you his passbook statement? What would you do about it? Fall over?

    Silence Of The Williamsons by Bob Ellis

    (1st Draft)

    David: Hi Bob Whats up?

    Bob: Now you grovel before me you scumbag lowlife…kneel…

    David: Huh?

    Bob: How do I know you are not Kristen you scum? Answer this very instant or be eternally damned you vagabond!

    David: No its just me. Whats up?

    Bob: How many millions have you squirreled away and not promoted your fellow struggling Australian playwrights living in Socialist poverty eh? I dare you! Answer me now or be eternally damned! There are 532 playwrights more deserving…

    Bob: Hey Kristen! Hand me my passbook will you! Bob’s on the plonk again…

    (slurping sound)

    Bob: A likely story. You will never have the decency to disclose before me -

    David: Hang on a sec Bob. I have a few Swiss bank accounts tucked away, but here’s my CBA passbook Miser-Saver account right here. Will that do?

    Bob: Tell all! This instant! Do not dodge my demands! I will publish without mercy!

    David: Exactly $5,890,239.64c

    Bob: You blood-sucking bastard Leech! You never gave anything back.

    David: So? I’m sipping a Pina-Colada. What are you doing Bob?

    Bob: Pasting old stories on my Blog. Lend me a fiver.


    (Needs a bit of work…but you get my point)

  7. This is unfair and not, like Popje’s piece, funny. I have not used swearwords on David and find him likeable, humble, generous with praise, unpretentious and, if anything, shy. Kristin by contrast is very pretentious, unkind, patronising, ignorant, proudly rich and selectively forgetful of her sexual past.

    The point is a reasonable one, of the over-reward of one writer and the neglect of fifty-nine better ones. If you are in favour of this over-reward, and this impoverishment of brilliant playwrights by lazy managements, please say why.

    Keep my loathesome character out of it if you can. Just argue the issue.

    Over to you.

  8. Fair enough Bob. I meant You no harm. I do apologies. Delete it if you wish. I was just being playful.

  9. So we get to the nub. David’s a great guy and a top bloke. You just hate his wife.

    Leave David out of it in that case, don’t tie your article headlines to his star.

    • No, it’s David who made the money he didn’t give back to the Australian theatre that so enlarged him, and his plays that kept better plays out of the theatre. It’s he who put his name to Nothing Personal and got it on when two hundred better plays were available. Please read what has been said.

      His wife, a good fuck and a forgetful memoirist and a difficult woman, is a side issue.

      Get it right.

  10. “…selectively forgetful of her sexual past”

    Sorry Mr Ellis, that rather personal jab made me laugh. Didn’t you once claim that you couldn’t bring your noodle to the boil properly?

    Reader1 has cut you to the quick. Can I suggest wives at 30 paces? They can bitch slap each other with their husbands’ plays until peper cuts render one submissive.

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