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The Removalists

The Removalists, written by David Williamson, is a play set in the seventies. The basic plot is two sisters walk into the police station to complain about one sister being physically abused by her husband. The two police officers then help her move out but not before beating her husband quite severely. In the end, one of the police officers loses control and beats the husband to death, although unintentionally. One of the main issues explored in The Removalists is that of police brutality. Simmonds (the veteran police sergeant) and later Ross (a new recruit) are both excessively violent towards Kenny (Fiona’s husband), whom they eventually kill. There is an attitude of resigned acceptance towards this brutality, as Rob (the removalist), Fiona (who was bashed by Kenny), and Kate (Fiona’s sister) are all present when Simmonds is attacking Kenny, yet none of them attempt to do anything to stop the violence. Kenny realises that Simmonds is going to bash him further when Rob, Fiona, and Kate have left, “That sergeant’s gonna beat the shit outa me. He’s mad as a bloody snake.” Later, when Ross goes berserk and attacks Kenny, Simmonds of course does nothing to stop the fighting, and in fact his first question to Ross is, “Did you let him get away?” Another, perhaps even more important issue explored in The Removalists is that of police corruption. Simmonds is thoroughly corrupt, and by the end of Ross’s first day on the job, Simmonds has already managed to corrupt him as well. He explains to Ross early on that, “Something doesn’t have to be very big before it’s too big for us and likewise something doesn’t have to be all that small before it’s not worth worrying about,” therefore the workload at their particular police station is quite low. Simmonds knows of a local prostitution ring, yet does nothing to bring those involved to justice, “Well, there’s a very attractive group of young girls a block or tw...

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The Removalists. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:12, August 27, 2014, from