Our political leaders are expert performers in the theatre that politics so often is. They need to project a character, master the choreography and stick to their script. Does this prevent them from providing leadership and vision? Two of Australia’s leading political reporters and writers, Judith Brett (Doing Politics) and Sean Kelly (The Game), sit down to examine questions of game-playing, the performative and the authentic in Australian politics with essayist and literary critic, James Ley.

Judith Brett (Australian)

Judith Brett

Judith Brett is emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University and a biographer and political historian. Her most recent book, Doing Politics: Writing on Public Life, brings together her best writing, beginning with her ground-breaking 1980s essay on Robert Menzies' Forgotten People, written when she was editor of Meanjin. Her books include Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (winner of the 2018 National Biography Award), From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage and four Quarterly Essays.

Sean Kelly (Australian)

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the author of The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison. He is a columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, a regular contributor to The Monthly, and a former adviser to Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.