Brutal Utopias

by Stephen Carleton

A Fugue for the Twenty First Century


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Stephen Carleton’s Brutal Utopias (A Fugue for the Twenty First Century) examines the intersection between lofty ideals and realpolitik, and the search for perfection in a world that is tilting imminently toward chaos.


1971. The height of the Cold War. The Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia is opening up to Western tourism after breaking away from the Soviet Bloc. Branislav and Valentina Radovic have been compelled to design a hotel complex for the government after forging a reputation for designing ultra-modern concrete structures, triggering their lofty utopian political and architectural ideals.

Present-day. New York City. A talented Australian Geo-Engineer, Natalia Hoskings, has been asked to join the team designing New York’s ‘Big U’ – the sea wall mitigation project that will cradle Manhattan’s financial district from rising sea levels. But building a sea wall around the world’s iconic home of big business, is forcing her to ask herself; is she really saving New York, or just working for the bad guys?


Brutal Utopias was first produced by Playlab Theatre in association with Metro Arts at the New Better Theatre on Wednesday 18 May, 2022.

ISBN: 978 1 922424 61 7

Education Notes

The Education Notes for Brutal Utopias is written and compiled by Stephanie Tudor.

  • Unit 1 – Non-Linear
  • Unit 2 – Realism
  • Unit 3 – Theatre for Social Comment
  • Topic 2 – Contemporary Australia Theatre Practice
  • Unit 1 – Dramatic Traditions in Australia
  • Unit 4 – Contemporary and Devised Drama
  • Area 2 – Ensemble Performance
Download Education Notes

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