An ageing professor with nothing left to lose rants across seven academic disciplines, reminisces on four decades of sexual exploits with his students, and unleashes an explosive attack on the collapse of academic values. Funny, obscene, absurd, poignant and powerful, the script twists and backtracks unpredictably. Directed by internationally acclaimed director Ira Seidenstein.

Anatomy of Discourse is a solo show I created between 2002 and 2004 with Ira, and first performed for a professional season in 2006. It is a fifty minute highly portable show, that works best performed in a real lecture theatre.

The show has been performed at the National Multicultural Festival Fringe, Canberra 2006; the Adelaide Fringe Festival, 2006; at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, 2006; as an independent season in Canberra, 2006 and at the University of Tasmania in Hobart 2007 and Launceston 2008.

It is available for bookings for other venues in 2010 and beyond.

Anatomy of Discourse has been supported by the ACT Government.


Review of preview performance:


The Canberra Review, City News

August 26, 2004

Reviewed by barb barnett

Anatomy of Discourse

Written, Developed Produced and Performed by Robin Davidson

Directed and Developed by Ira Seidenstein

Directorial Assistant Rebecca Meston


The intimate and enthusiastic crowd who attended the preview of Robin Davidson’s ‘Anatomy of Discourse’ were treated to an early evening of theatre to make one smile. With assistance from Brisbane-based Trainer and Director Ira Seidenstein, Davidson has developed the Commedia dell’arte character ‘il dottore’ into an inscrutable Professor of Philosophy. On the brink of forced retirement, the Professor holds one last lecture,  appealing to his audience/students for some glimpse of hope in a world gone wrong. The piece, short and succinct in its philosophical meanderings, is an exploration into attitude and environment. Syllogisms and tortuous philosophical quandaries abound, giving rise to some truly delightful shared moments between audience and performer. Davidson’s characterisation is apt, his improvisational skills allowing for audience input and, consequently, much fun. Thanks to a grant from artsACT, Davidson has spent the last 18 months developing both character and script under the direction of Seidenstein.




Review of Adelaide Fringe performance:




UniSA City West Campus


Review by Fran Edwards


The venue is perfect, nothing feels more like a lecture theatre than a lecture theatre! No topic is out of range and no corner of academia is safe from the Professor’s incisive wit.


Davidson discusses his student conquests and compares them to the classic Greek student/teacher relationships, he parodies the many professors who know so much and impart so little, he bitches about the establishments and the loss of “free” education.


Just like the better lecturers we have known he keeps the “students” on their toes, not allowed to get comfortable as he may at anytime ask a revealing or disconcerting question aimed at them individually.


Robin Davidson’s performance is well thought out and delivered with aplomb. He finishes with just the right mix of relief and regret. This will resonate with anyone who has ever attended a standard university lecture with a lecturer who knows his stuff but is no longer capable of sticking to the subject.


Some academics should be forced to see this!


Review of independent season in Canberra,

Emma Gibson, for BMA

22.10.06 Anatomy of Discourse - C-Block

"Histrionics aside, I've had this Uni lecturer before. Without the lecherous subtext... It's as though Davidson got drunk and turned 12 different lecture notes into a monologue... Fantastic writing, content and concept... From describing his love of a 'healthy cleavage in a v-neck t-shirt' to encouraging class room experimentation - for a volunteer to 'expel a turd skyward' ..."

"... strikes a delicate balance between humour and pathos. In this ailing professor we see a glimmer of the pathetic. And yet, he is more 3D than most lecturers I've met."


“An interactive myriad of humour, truth, sadness and more... A well presented snapshot of the evolvement of higher education. Highly recommended.”

David Quinn

Events Co-ordinator

Tasmania University Union