Interviewer:   Can you tell us a little about the social context of the play?

Louis Nowra: At the time when I was writing “Cosi” the Vietnam War had been on 10 years.   People were so cynical and politics played a huge part in their lives.   Society was changing, there were many movements for equal rights for women and anti-racist protests.   This came out a lot in the background of the play.  

Interviewer:   Who are the main characters?

Louis Nowra:   Lewis is the protagonist, Nick is the antagonist.   Roy, Henry, Julie, Doug, Cherry, Zac and Ruth are all mental patients.   Lucy is Lewis’ girlfriend and Justin who the social worker who started this project.  

Interviewer:   What is the play about?

Louis Nowra: The play is about a university student called Lewis, who beings a job at a mental institution.   Lewis initially directs the play ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ for the money but finds himself gaining more than just money as the play concludes.

Interviewer:   How did politics and war influence the writing of the play?

Louis Nowra:   In the play as in real life at the time, people were angry and cynical at the world that they lived in, they wanted change to this social unrest and this is portrayed throughout the play.  
“People want the war to end, they want changes in our society and want to overthrow the establishment”. The repetition of the word “want” emphasises how much the people desire change to the world.

Interviewer:   What are the main ideas that are highlighted throughout the play?

Louis Nowra:   Throughout the play the main themes that I wanted to highlight were those of love and fidelity, illusion and delusion; and identity and madness.   All of these ideas were explored through the events of the main character Lewis and the mental patients he worked with.

Interviewer:   Mr Nowra, could you explain in more detail for our listeners, how these ideas were portrayed?

Louis Nowra: Sure Mark.   The idea of love and fidelity are shown when...