With all of us madly trying to figure out whether Siri will have learned how to do our jobs in five years, Katherine Thomson's Diving for Pearls is a darkly comic reminder that this has all happened before. It wasn't pretty then and there's precious little reason to believe this time will be any better.
Set in the 1980s, when economic rationalism was gutting small towns right across Australia, Diving for Pearls follows Barbara and Den, two residents of Port Kembla. Until recently, the town revolved around its steelworks. But with those jobs heading overseas, it's all starting to get a bit desperate. Barbara's got her sights on a job in one of the town's new resorts. Den, a now-redundant steelworker, has little time and less experience to manage the tricky transition to a new job. Amongst the dull horror of it all lands Verge, Barbara's daughter, back for a visit. Perfect timing.
The devastation of recession in the 80s may have faded from memory, but the good folk at Griffin Theatre have felt it coming round again. Perhaps check your super and join a union before heading into this one. It's that bleak.